Hirata Farms (平田観光農園) is open year-round for sightseeing trips into the hills south of Miyoshi to see their fruit farm in action. Their jam and other products are sold at souvenir shops around Miyoshi.
The farm's most popular activity is its all you can eat fruit tours. The gluttony begins in May with strawberries and lasts until early December with apples. Cherries and strawberries can be picked fresh on a fruit picking tour for a smaller fee.
Flowers and Fruit
The wisteria garden at the farms has become the iconic image of Hirata Farms. In the beginning of May, the wisteria in the garden blooms in a spectacular array of purples and whites. Hundreds of people walk under the bundles of flowers each day. A large number of tables and chairs are set up under the flowers but very few people are brave enough to actually sit down with thousands of ecstatic bees buzzing overhead. There is a small admission fee for the gardens.
Next to the gardens is the rabbit house which also includes parakeets, chickens, fish and the odd turtle. Understandably, this is quite popular with children and people who like cute things in general.
During peak season times, other activities like rabbit races and boot kicking contests take place throughout the day.
The farm has three restaurants. Marumero serves western-style food and Yamaboushi serves up more Japanese fare in their countryside teahouse. A barbecue restaurant is next to the Wisteria Gardens for those wanting a simpler and cheaper meal.
The farm is located in the hills south of Mihara. From Mihara, take route 375 until you reach route 45 and turn left. The farm is a few minutes drive down highway route 45. Unfortunately, there is no convenient public transportation to the farm. A taxi from the station is around 5000 yen.
Translation note: The Japanese pamphlet refers to the farm as "Fruits Forest Hirata."
Website: Hirata Farms (Japanese)
Posted: April 6, 2011 Updated: February 9, 2015