On Sunday after church, we all piled into five cars and drove for about an hour. We arrived at Sawada Farm and waited anxiously for Willie to pay the 1200 yen required for their visit. After the money was transacted, the 28 of us walked to our greenhouse. As we entered the doors, we were handed a small plastic bowl, and walked into strawberry paradise!!!
I felt just like the kids do in Willie Wonka when they first see the chocolate room. Part of me expected Gene Wilder to pop in out of nowhere singing lines to “Pure Imagination.” There were just so many strawberries. It was the healthy alternative to his candy room. And in case any of you aren’t familiar, or have forgotten, let me refresh your memory.
So, for the next hour, everyone had a party picking strawberries, eating shortbread, and just having a grand time. Strawberries can be expensive in Japan, no matter the season, so my friend Melody summed it up well when she said that everyone’s goal was to eat strawberries to the point of vomiting so our desire to eat them would be sated for the next twelve months. And folks, I think we all accomplished that goal. The record was Hideki, having eaten 100 strawberries! I think I ate about 35-50.
When our hour was up, we all piled back into our cars and went to the senbe (rice cracker) factory, which was roughly the size of a Wal-Mart, but not the “super” ones. It was jam-packed with about a million people milling around all of the senbe bins eating the free samples. And there were a lot of free samples. Our group all partook of some salty senbe and hot coffee to combat the effects of the sweet strawberries in our stomachs.
After that, we all got back in our cars and made the long drive back to Nagoya. It was an overall fabulous day!! 🙂