Shizuoka - Lake Hamanako to Fujinomiya
Updated: Nov 25, 2022
We're now in our second prefecture: Shizuoka Prefecture. Shizuoka Prefecture has been nicknamed as Strawberry Kingdom because of the numerous strawberry farms here.
Hamamatsu Fruit Park Tokinosumika
Directions to the carpark: 〒431-2102 静岡県浜松市北区都田町
Arrived: 11am (as per our booking)
I’ll be talking about strawberries because that was what drew us here in the first place.
When it is strawberry season, you can book yourself a space between mid Dec to mid May. This is 2018's booking form. Probably it might be open again when it hits the right season.
The price varies, depending on which part of the season you’re there to pick strawberries.
When we reached the fruit park, we had to inform them that we made a booking. We got transferred over to a bus stop (more like a train stop because our pick-up vehicle looked like a train on tires). After a slow ride, past the apple and pear trees, we were brought to the strawberry cultivation houses. They rotate which batch of strawberry plants we could pluck from. The plants are elevated, so that the strawberries do not touch the soil. We could eat the strawberries directly from the plant, or coat them with a bit of condensed milk which we were provided with.
A strawberry whose tip is coated with condensed milk © Japanhoppers
Logistics aside, this is one of the more memorable culinary moments I’ve had. Imagine being let loose into a room full of these juicy red strawberries, dangling on a stalk, for you to bite into, chew, swallow, salivate and repeat. There were two varieties available: Benihoppe 紅ほっぺ and the other… I forgot.
The Benihoppe, whose name translates to mean red cheeks, were super delicious. We were taught to pluck the stem out first, eat the bits nearest to the stem next, and savour the tip of the strawberry. The tip of the strawberry is the sweetest, and has the least amount of sourness to it. I’m used to eating my strawberries the other way round because of convenience but now, thinking about it, it makes sense.
The other variety had a lot more water content, less sweetness to it, but it also had less sour notes too.
I would love to come back here again.
Lunch @ Pizza Factory
Located within Hamamatsu Fruit Park
9am-9pm. Opens everyday.
Do you like pizza? We love pizza.
Despite having eaten enough strawberries to fill at least 2 punnets each, we were craving for lunch: something savory. The nearest thing to us was this pizza factory.
The wood-fired oven lured us in, despite the restaurant looking deathly empty except for another occupied table. The pizza was delicious, and the crust is chewy. There is this smokiness to the pizza which only wood-fired oven is able to achieve without burning the food.
Shiraito Falls is regarded as one of the most stunning waterfalls in Japan. The waterfall is fed by spring water, originated from melted snow from the Mount Fuji catchment area. As the water falls, it forms thin milky streams which resembled hanging thread of white silk. There are numerous souvenir shops that line the pathway that leads to the Shiraito falls, but by the time we got there, they were in the midst of closing.
At this point of our journey, we started to see more and more of Mount Fuji, which was fabulous!
Reception area © Fujinomiya Fujikyu Hotel
Stay @ Fujinomiya Fujikyu Hotel
We once stayed at the northern aspect of Mount Fuji when we visited Fujiyoshida and the Five Lakes. This time, we chose stay at the southern side: Fujinomiya.
The room is spacious and comfortable. We did like the lobby's earthy decor. The hotel's parking is a bit crammed, but hey, its really close to the hotel so no grumbles there.
Aeon Mall Fujinomiya
Just a stone’s throw away is Aeon Mall. We spent our evening there, window-shopping and dining in one of the random restaurants there.
We can’t wait to see more of Mount Fuji tomorrow! [Click on me for next day's itinerary]
Oh ya, our booking came with free breakfast :) There is more to what you see on this gif.
We're going to see so much Mt Fuji tomorrow! Exciting times ahead! [Click on me for tomorrow's itinerary]