When traveling to Japan, most people decide to book a traditional Japanese hotel or restaurant. ryokan for your accommodation. However, have you ever thought of staying somewhere cozier with some of the local farmers? If you are interested in Japanese agriculture, the slow-paced rural Japanese lifestyle, and interaction with local people, you should definitely consider agritourism in Japan. We hope this article helps you get a better idea of agritourism in Japan and that you can experience it on your next visit!
In 2021, the city of Iida in Nagano Prefecture agreed to partner with Airbnb Japan to help promote the growth of sustainable tourism. The city works to boost the local economy through agrotourism and the reuse of uninhabited homes. In Iida City, there are more than 100 farmers, and they provide travelers with a variety of farming experiences, such as planting and harvesting rice, picking apples, collecting tea, and making dried persimmons (depending on the season you visit). In addition, you will have the opportunity to learn how to make gohei mochi, a local specialty that is a rice cake with miso sauce.
2. Vignoble Maoi Jiyu-no-Oka (Hokkaido)
In the Hokkaido city of Naganuma, not far from Sapporo, there is a famous hostel with a winery that is known for its high-quality, small-scale production. The wine is made primarily from wild grapes, such as Yama Budo, Yama Sauvignon, Yama Fredonia, Himalayan and Niagara, all original house varietals. You can observe the wine production process in the cellar and of course try it yourself. You can rent the entire lodge if you want a relaxing and private stay. From the lodge we have a beautiful view of the Ishikari plains. If the weather is good, you can also enjoy a good barbecue in the open air.
3. Uchiko (Ehime)
The city of Uchiko in Ehime Prefecture offers a wide range of activities for tourists. The town has partnered with many local farmers to promote and strengthen ties with the local community and tourists. You can choose from many options that are not limited to just farming. Some of them include soba making, Japanese paper making, and other training practices. There are many buildings with traditional old-style streets and some buildings are used as museums. In addition, depending on the season you visit the city, you can enjoy different festivals, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Lantern Festival, the Japanese Maple Festival, and the Snow Festival.
4. Ferme Wakaba (Wakayama)
Wakayama is the fourth largest peach picking prefecture in Japan. There is a farm called Wakaba Farm in the city of Momoyama, named after momo, which means peach in Japanese. The farm is run by a young couple who have been receiving tourists for years. At the farm, you can try your hand at farming, tend to the peach trees, and even pick a few peaches during the summer when they’re in season. After the fishing season, you can also pick mandarins here. You will even have the opportunity to stay on the farm with the couple and their children!
5. Mirai Noen (Wakayama)
Mirai Noen is another great agri-stay in Wakayama. This part of Japan is famous not only for peaches, but also for mandarins and Japanese apricots, of which it has the largest crop in Japan. Tourists visiting the region have the opportunity to pick the local fruits. The farm has more than 100 years of history in the harvest of mandarins and Japanese apricots. Farmers love to fish too so if you stay with the family they will be happy to take you fishing where you can watch the beautiful sunset. The farm often welcomes tourists from different countries, and they are very warm and friendly when it comes to international customers.
If you want to stay in a homestay right next to a beautiful lake, we recommend Kamado! From the guest house, you can see Lake Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan with beautiful emerald green water. At the guesthouse, there are two main seasonal activities: farming and cooking. In terms of agricultural activities, the guest house offers harvesting and planting vegetables in the spring and fall, fishing on Lake Tazawa in the summer and fall, and snowmobiling in the winter. As for culinary activities, guests have the option of making pizza, Nagashi noodles, and dessert. The owner confidently states that his guesthouse is the most comfortable and relaxing stay among all the accommodations near Lake Tazawa!
7. Mima (Tokushima)
In the city of Mima, Tokushima Prefecture, there is a wonderful guest house owned by local farmers. The city is located in a rural area, so the surroundings are full of nature. The cool morning air refreshes you and you might be able to see a sea of clouds if you’re lucky. At night, the sky is filled with beautiful stars and the sound of insects in the background. Farmers will offer to cook local dishes for you during your stay, and you can even try your hand at farming activities like harvesting wasabi, tomatoes, eggplant, and Japanese lime. Also, the farmers will teach you how to make tofu!
Matoba is a small and cozy traditional guesthouse in the city of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture. Long ago, the city of Nihonmatsu was famous for the cultivation of silk. Although silk production has fallen into decline, the guesthouse still upholds the tradition and allows tourists to participate in silk-related activities such as pruning mulberry trees. One of the selling points of the guest house is its delicious dinner. You will be served a local dinner with different kinds of vegetables right in front of the warm fireplace. If you want to stay in an old-style Japanese house in winter, this may be a great option for you.
9. Nakamura Ranch (Kagoshima)
Agrotourism is not limited only to agriculture but also extends to livestock. At Nakamura Ranch in Kagoshima Prefecture, the prefecture with the highest beef production in Japan, you can try many activities related to ranching, such as stroking, grooming, and feeding the cattle, as well as take a tour of the ranch. There are more than 60 head of cattle on his large ranch. You get to stay in a nice guesthouse owned by the breeder. The ranch’s beautiful open landscape will help you cool off and experience Japanese ranch life.
10. Akagawara (Okinawa)
Okinawa’s culture is unique from most other prefectures when it comes to architecture, food, and agriculture. In terms of architecture in Okinawa, the houses have low ceilings and brick walls. As for food and agriculture, since the climate is warmer than other parts of Japan, there are many unique foods. At one of the island’s guesthouses, Akagawara, you can learn how to grow things like shekwasha (an Okinawan citrus fruit), turmeric, herb, and hibiscus from local farmers. In addition, you can benefit from a relaxing herbal massage, which will help you relieve stress!
All of the destinations we have talked about in this article may not have the best access from the larger and more urban areas of Japan, however it is still great to experience and enjoy traditional Japanese life at a slower pace in the field. We hope you found a place or two on our list of the top 10 agri-tourism resorts in Japan that you want to visit the next time you’re here!
Japan Merveille Voyage is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan.
From private walking tours to delicious food tours, we can help you put together the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and stories of each region you visit, our knowledgeable and friendly English-speaking guides will be happy to take you to the best places!
Also, we can provide any assistance you may need for your next trip to Japan, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need help!
If you want to make your trip easier, we suggest looking for packages. There is a wide range of packages to meet the needs of every traveler. Click the button below to find the best tour package among the various tour operators!
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TIC Tac for more travel inspiration. Or tag us to be featured!
Have a good trip !