Pear-picking in Matsumoto Garden

A refreshing summer excursion

By Dieu Huong Do    - 2 min read

It was a sizzling hot summer day when we visited Matsumoto farm in Hiji. From Hiji station we took a ten-minute taxi ride, which led us up and down several slopes until we reached a green garden at the foot of a mountain.

Matsumoto-san and his wife, the owners of the pear garden, were very hospitable. They offered us some of their home-grown fruit as they were cut, so we gladly accepted. I can safely say that their freshly picked pears are the best I have ever tasted—so sweet, juicy and crisp. And the best thing about Matsumoto’s pear garden is the miniscule 300 yen fee for an all-you-can-eat feast. We could even take their delicious pears back home at a bargain price of 500 yen per kg.

Matsumoto’s wife prepared a set of trays, knives, cotton wipers and baskets for us to raid their garden. After selecting some succulent ripe pears, we were taken to a twenty-year-old pear tree located in the center of the place. Imagine picking the best quality pears fresh from the branches and sharing them with family or friends—definitely one of the sweetest moments you can have in your life.

I spotted some colorful koi (Japanese carp) swimming in the garden’s small pond. Noticing me watching the carp, Matsumoto-san brought over a cup of fish food so I could interact more with them. Just like their owners, the fish are very friendly; they ate food from my hand and let me touch their heads. So cute!

I don’t recommend wearing shorts, as there are a lot of insects in Matsumoto garden. Bring insect repellent (or rely on the kindness of the owners to lend you some), or you will pay for your forgetfulness in blood! Though the mosquitoes are annoying, they are evidence of something quite positive: there are no chemicals used for plant protection.

This pear picking period lasts from mid-August until the end of October, so plan your trip in advance. I hope you can come and enjoy the delicious fruits of the farmers’ year of labor.

Was this article helpful?

Suggest an edit

Dieu Huong Do

Dieu Huong Do

My name is DO Dieu Huong, and I am currently living in Beppu city, Oita prefecture, the city of the wind, hugged by mountains, soothed by the sea, and best of all, home of the world’s second largest outflow of hot springs. Although the city is quite small, with a population of about 120,000, we have the highest density of foreigners in Japan (approx 3.8%) thanks to the establishment of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in the year 2000.I am originally from Hanoi, Vietnam. I first arrived in Japan in 2004 when I was 17, did undergraduate and graduate school at APU, finishing in 2010. I am now working as Admissions Counselor for the APU International Admissions Office. Although I have been living in the same city for the last 7 years, I still find Beppu so amazing with all the natural scenery and traditional events. Other nearby cities and towns in Oita prefecture, such as Hiji, Yufuin and Taketa, still hold so many secrets waiting for us to discover. So I hope you can enjoy the experiences with me through my journeys in Oita.

Join the discussion

Sleiman Azizi 3 years ago
Even when they are not, pears are a seriously underrated fruit.
Kim 3 years ago
This time of year is my favorite because I love pears - the ones here in Japan are the best, so crispy and juicy!
Mackenzie Scott 9 years ago
I had a pear-hunting accident once. Pulled a muscle reaching up for my prey. The ones in these photos look pretty docile though.
Bonson Lam 9 years ago
Wow, pear hunting in paradise! I have heard about fruit picking, but pear hunting, that's new! Is it about hunting the most delicious, juicy pear before your friends get to it? It is also great to see a chemical free farm. Organic fruit is the best1