It was in the early spring season that we went to Minamichita, a beach town of the Aichi prefecture. When we entered the Minamichita area, we could see the blue sea on one side of the road all over our way. There are a lot of fields and farmlands in the calm outskirts of this place. We could see vast fields of strawberries, oranges, flowers , vegetables like cabbages , carrots, cauliflowers, leafy veggies etc.
Strawberry picking and orange picking are the common fruit picking programs during this time associated with the fields of this place. And we had already chosen strawberry picking. There are a lot of places in this area with ‘Ichigogari’ or Strawberry picking. We had already booked with one of them and it will be starting by 10am which lasts for half an hour with a cost of 1600yen. We waited there inside the car as it was really cold wind blowing outside. The winter has just started to leave way to the beautiful spring. Strawberry picking started at 10am when they allowed us to enter inside and gave a small cup of milk cream to dip the strawberry in it while eating along with another medium sized plastic container to collect the sepals. Inside the greenhouse of the strawberry farm, there were many rows of strawberry plants held at a height so that we can pick them without any effort at all. Seeing the reddish strawberries, big and small ones, it was really confused about which one to be picked. Anyway, we started picking berries while walking from one end of the farm. There were three different varieties of strawberries inside. We enjoyed eating a lot of berries in 30 minutes along with clicking our camera here and there. It was really a nice experience to enjoy in this season. I am not sure what will happen if we go for orange picking. Surely it will be a different experience to pick the oranges from big trees.
After that we turned to our way for the ‘Hanahiroba’ near to the place. The fields of flowers were really vast. As it is the time of changing season, most of the land inside seems bared and some had small seedlings in it. We entered inside and they charged a 400yen for each. After that they gave a polythene cover and scissors. They introduced the plant and talked about the nano hana which we are going to see inside. As we are foreigners, they also talked about how to eat the nanohana greens and told that we may pick as much as nano hana greens from the small plants on side of the field. And upto 10 flower stems of the big ones on the other side of the farm. We saw some people packing nano hana greens collected from the field on part of the small room for sale. We went to the field where we could see green colour on one side and yellow on the other from a distance. We couldn’t stop from turning to the flowered part of the field first because of the golden colour beneath the blue sky attracting us towards there. And we collected around ten flower stems from there and returned to the other part from where we cut the soft and small greens from the plants. Once we reached back to handover the scissors, they carefully packed the greens and flowers that we collected. The stall beside it had some locally made vegetables at a low cost set for sale. From their brochure we could find that during different seasons they have different flowers in the field like the sunflower, tulips, etc. Felt like going to there in every season to enjoy each of them.
Since Minamichita is the land beside the sea, seafood is the main attraction of this area. We went to a famous shop there, and had to wait there for a long time. We could see a lot of live fishes in the tanks kept near the reception. It is these fishes that they are used for making the delicious dishes here. Sashimi is the most demanded item in almost all shops of this area. We get inside after half an hour and ordered every sort of special seafood items of this shop. Sashimi, prawn fry, miso soup, rice with fish toppings, crabs, grilled oysters and so on. The one hour we spent there provided a feast to our taste-buds with various tastes of the sea food.
On the way back, we stopped near the beach area where we saw a lot of places aside the shore with barbeque arrangements. There are small and big stalls in these areas selling fresh items for the barbeque. We could pick up those items from the racks and could use it for a barbeque there itself. But it is still cold near this place as the sea breeze is always blowing strongly.
It was the fish market, ‘Sakana no sato’ that we went next. It was really crowded there, with lot of people buying fishes. We could see fresh fishes alive in the tanks from which we may select the fishes so that they will clean it and pack in thermocol boxes with icecubes. There are a lot of fish products and fishes displayed there. High demand for the fresh fishes available at low cost could be seen. Preserved fish items are also sold in large amounts.
‘Ebisenbei no sato’ is another place to visit while going to Minamichita. The big shop of senbei, a Japanese rice cracker, provides various flavours of the senbei as we enter inside. ‘Ebisenbei’ are the senbei with prawn’s flavour. Eventhough the shop name is Ebisenbei no sato, there are lots of varieties of senbei being sold here. It was really confusing which one to be tasted first. They have the samples of every senbei in small boxes aside each of the items which everyone are actually enjoying while watching. The chocolate senbei was my favourite. There is an area where they have special session for the kids where the making of senbei is taught. The batter is made into small and big circles using some machines and brushes and special colours are used to decorate it with various pictures. Small kids were working on their senbei inside the glass walls which seems interesting. We watched the senbei making for a long time. Many staffs are there to assist each child in making their senbei. Inside the room from where we watched this, they have set machines coffee and tea as a free service. As it was cold outside, this tea could be enjoyed eventhough we were full after the delicious lunch and the different tastes of senbei samples.
While returning I could realize that the Minamichita area could be enjoyed fully if we are making a trip to here in summer. The hot Japanese summer is the best time to enjoy the beach, barbeque and the beauty of this beach area.