Famous for its large variety of roses, the Keisei Rose Garden in Chiba prefecture is changing things up with a special strawberry picking event. Yes, you’re reading that right: strawberry season in Japan is actually in winter.
The event takes place in a greenhouse in the backyard of the rose garden, which is not usually open to the public. The entire experience is themed on the story of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’.
Participants are guided to the greenhouse by a gardener dressed as a ‘strawberry hunter’. Upon entering the greenhouse, you’ll be welcomed by a nearly 2-metre-tall puppet resembling the Tin Man of the original story. The puppet reveals the secret about special ‘Oz strawberries’ that are growing in the greenhouse, which are said to be ultra delicious.
Equipped with a box, you’re now allowed to pick these special ‘Oz strawberries’, which are actually the Japanese strawberry breeds beni-hoppe, koi-minori, yotsubashi and yayoi-hime. Kids are sure to love the playful story, even if they’ve never read the book.
The event is on now and takes place until the end of April. You can go strawberry picking on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends.
Tickets have to be booked in advance and cost ¥2,000 per person (primary school students and older). At the moment, bookings are open for March slots only, so keep an eye on the site to see when tickets for later dates are released. The deal includes a drink ticket for either a cup of coffee or tea. You can also check the garden’s official Twitter and Instagram accounts to see if same-day tickets are available.
For more information, see Keisei Rose Garden’s official website.
This article was published on January 11 and updated on March 2.
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