Nature Series: Murata Orchard
With Sapporo being the fifth largest city in Japan, you can easily get swept up in the hustle and bustle of city life. Thus we are here to present a place near Sapporo in which you can escape the rushed atmosphere and feel the calming effects of nature in a secluded environment. This half day trip to Murata Orchard will leave you with a sense of serenity you can’t find inside the concrete jungle!
Murata Orchard Trip
Located near the town of Yoichi, this quaint and charming orchard is only an hour drive away from Sapporo. Going from the big city to a small rural fruit farm in the blink of an eye, you feel like you were teleported into a different time, when things were much simpler and slow paced. The feeling of travelling back in time may even be more emphasized when you learn that this orchard was established in 1884!
To begin your relaxing experience you are received by the family who runs the orchard with warmth and utmost kindness. The family who operates Murata has been running the fruit farm for six generations and are extremely receptive and welcoming to everyone, and extremely accommodating when allowing visitors to peruse their farm freely. The trust that they have in their guests to act respectfully is something that is hard to find, basically giving you free reign to walk the open areas of the farm and pick the ‘in season’ fruit to your hearts content. Not having a guide rushing you along or restricting your participation really allows you to ease up and reap the calming rewards of being in the orchard and picking fruit. Although, that isn’t to say that you wont have any interaction with the family that runs the farm, as they are present to answer any questions you have, provide more information and insight, or to simply just chat.
The orchard itself is located in a beautiful location in which you can feel the fresh sea breeze and sun’s rays caressing your skin, and get lost in the lush greenery surrounding your every movement. Being in nature itself has a soothing effect, but the tranquility of being at the orchard and eating fruit straight from the tree takes these positive influences and feelings to a whole other level!
We went during cherry season and were blessed with all the various kinds of cherries perfectly ripening, but all throughout the summer you can experience different delicacies, ranging from strawberries in June, to blueberries and prunes, and the season is capped off with grapes in September.
Walking into the area of the orchard that holds the miscellaneous cherry trees, you may be shocked by the enormity of how many cherries you can pick and all the different varieties. But what is more amazing is how good the tiny red fruit tastes! You tend to go down the rows, following your instincts on which tree has the most vibrant coloured, shiny, and plump fruit, and proceed to climb the ladders to grab at the most ideal looking specimen. And with a sharp tug, the juicy fruit is all yours to enjoy and devour. Once you are able to find your favourite type of cherry, or fruit, you can pick as many as you would like, and stay up until the orchards closes, relishing in the fruit’s deliciousness. You lose track easily of how many treats you have consumed as they are extremely addictive, and the all you can eat aspect doesn’t go hand in hand with the idea of restraint. Just make sure you don’t get a belly ache from stuffing yourself to the brim with cherries and fruit!
Once you are done picking and tasting, you head back to the shop where you can navigate through the recently harvested fruits and vegetables to find your favourite. Here you can also watch the precision of the family as they painstakingly sort through hundreds of fruit to find the healthiest and tastiest ones for you to take home with you. Being able to take back a tiny piece of heaven is a reminder of your memories made at the orchard and prolongs your newfound feeling of being refreshed and reenergized.
All in all, the connection to nature you develop while picking fruit at Murata Orchard will leave you with a new sense of wonderment towards Hokkaido’s natural spaces, but also gift you with rejuvenation, which can only be obtained while enjoying the great outdoors! So how about heading out of the city this summer and joining Social Bus on more fruit picking adventures?
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