Imagine: peeling a soft Wakayama mikan orange peel, the refreshing citrus scent filling the air. Take a piece of the fruit. With every bite, the sweet juice excites your taste buds. Now, picture this moment of delight taking place in the grove where you just picked the ripe mandarin orange yourself!
Located on the west side of the Kii Peninsula, Wakayama Prefecture has a mild climate and with its thriving fruit industry, and is Japan’s leading producer of mandarin oranges. So let's take a look!

What is a “Wakayama mikan” and why are they so popular?

Wakayama not only produces “satsuma mandarin oranges,” which are generally called “mikan,” but also large hassaku oranges and that have a refreshing sweetness and aroma. They even produce Valencia oranges, too.
Wakayama mikan are characterized by their thin, easily removed peel. Compared to typical oranges which often have a thick peel, the smaller mikan are easy to eat. If you've ever had a satsuma before, you'll know what we're talking about.

Enjoy Wakayama mikan picking at Akizuno Garten!

Akizuno Garten is located in Tanabe in southern Wakayama and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy mikan picking almost all year round. This green tourism site is housed in a former elementary school about 100 minutes from JR Kansai Airport Station (via limited express train), and about a 5-km, 15-minute drive northeast of JR Kiitanabe Station.
Operated by local residents, the facility offers agricultural experiences, confectionery making, lodging, and a cute restaurant, all with a traditional atmosphere where you can really take your time.
Arriving from both Japan and abroad, about 80,000 (as of 2019) visitors come to Akizuno Garten annually. There are English-speaking staff on site, and pamphlets are available in English, Chinese and Korean, so it’s convenient for international tourists.
The Kamiakizu area, where Akizuno Garten is located, is a region in which about 80 kinds of mikan can be harvested throughout the year.
The typical Wakayama mikan picking period is from October to December, but at Akizuno Garten, visitors can also experience mikan harvesting during other seasons in cooperation with local farmers. But don't forget to make a reservation in advance! (1,700 yen per person, tax included)

Wakayama mikan picking is so cute!

A beautiful day for mikan picking!

It’s about a 10-minute drive from Akizuno Garten to a small mountain where the Wakayama mikan grow. Overlooking the seaside, the view from the mountainside is breathtaking, and looking back toward the mountain itself you’ll see the mikan you’ve come for…

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