Meron meron! “There’s a melon!”
It was one of the hottest days of summer in Japan when we went to Asahi to harvest some melons. The melons that can be harvested here are called “Iioka” melons, and they are considered one of the most delicious ones in Japan.
We arrived at some kind of warehouse where one could directly buy Iioka melons. There, we were welcomed by the same lady that guided us last year when we visited Asahi City for some golf. This time, she was wearing a hat having Asahi City’s mascot as a design… and I apologize for not having a photo of her wearing that outfit. (Maybe some of my co-ambassadors do)
From the warehouse, we walked for about five minutes to reach the farm. It was somewhat a nostalgic view -the usual bukirin scenery in my homeland.
I have seen pumpkins, watermelons, and the like growing and creeping on the surface of the soil, but I think this was my first time seeing melons being grown in a properly cultivated and controlled field.
Before the harvesting began, we were warmly welcomed by the local farmers. The head farmer told us some information regarding the melons produced in Asahi, which was followed by the self-introduction of the other farmers. I really respect them for making such efforts in building up the reputation of the city and it really is heartwarming to know that they made time just to greet us and introduce to us their locally-produced goods.
Let the harvesting begin!
I was one of the last persons to have chosen and picked a melon straight from the field. I got a big one and it was really a good experience! One melon would cost about 1000円 to 3000円, if I am not mistaken, and I think mine would cost like 1500円 or 2000円.
They told us that it is best to eat newly harvested melons a week after; refrigerate it, then enjoy it by yourself or with some friends. I plan to eat mine with some friends. We went back to the bus after this.
Aaaandd… Just when we thought that our melon fantasy was about to end, we were brought to this memorial building in Asahi where we were again fed with melons, and other local goods. We really were stuffed that afternoon.
This was the place where we were brought and below are some of the views you can from the viewing deck. It was a bit foggy that night yet the view was really breathtaking.
You can find more information regarding Iioka melons from this website:
And since these are called Iioka melons, you can just take the JR Line up to Iioka station. But be careful since you can only buy from the direct outlets between June and July.