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Food Camp Tour: An Exquisite Japanese-style Lunch of Ginjo Apples and Oku-Aizu Beef

Travel

ReleaseDecember 28, 2021

Based in Fukushima Prefecture’s Koriyama City is Magonote Travel. Starting out as a taxi company, Magonote Travel now operates as a travel agency that organizes unique tours. Among these are their Food Camp tours.

The concept of the Food Camp tours revolves around an outdoor restaurant where you can fully immerse yourself in Fukushima’s food, people, and nature. It takes you on a trip to one of Fukushima’s farms or producers to enjoy cuisine prepared by first-class chefs. What’s more, with the tours being constantly updated, the themes are said to change dozens of times throughout the year. In addition to this, the Food Camp tours also integrate the now very relevant SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

Fruit Farm Kato
This time around, we took part in (Fruit Farm Kato) An Exquisite Japanese-style Lunch Tour of Ginjo Apples and Oku-Aizu Beef. The tour was held at Fruit Farm Kato—a farm known for its specialized farming methods. Here, Chef Ryota Hayashi, the head chef of Koriyama’s popular restaurant A-Un, prepared a special meal made from apples picked fresh from the farm and local Oku-Aizu beef.

In October 2021, we took an hour-long chartered bus ride from Koriyama Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line to Fruit Farm Kato. Once we arrived, we found a tent and dining set prepared in the middle of the farm’s apple orchard. This picturesque sight was like something out of a postcard.

After a quick introduction of the apple orchard by its owner, Mr. Kato, we moved to an area where the apples were ready for harvesting. Here we enjoyed apple picking.

Fruit Farm Kato
The type of apples ready for picking were Kougyoku (Jonathan) apples. These are a slightly tart variety perfect for baking desserts such as apple pie. Moreover, the apples at Fruit Farm Kato are grown using special cultivation methods that give them a distinct sweetness.

For example, one method is to thin out the apple so that all the nutrients and sweetness go to one apple. Additionally, when it comes to growing apples in Japan, reflective sheets are laid out on the ground so that sunlight hits them directly. This results in every apple becoming sweet and red.

All tour participants took part in the apple harvesting experience at this orchard. The farm even left one tree just so that our group could harvest apples from it. Apparently, any apples left over are harvested the following day.

Fruit Farm Kato
Our group then went back to the dining tent to enjoy a meal prepared by the chef. Before we dug in, we tried an aperitif of three different types of ciders produced by Fruit Farm Kato’s owner. Due to the careful selection of the apples and brewery, both the aroma and flavors of the ciders were superb.

Afterwards, a meal prepared by Chef Ryota Hayashi using beef from Fukushima’s Oku-Aizu region as the main ingredient was served. All dishes incorporated Oku-Aizu beef and apples from Fruit Farm Kato.

Fruit Farm Kato
We enjoyed many exquisite dishes including a beautifully layered mille-feuille of sirloin beef roast and apples, a Japanese-style chicken broth soup served with a beef, tofu, apple, and vegetable bowl, sauteed apples and grilled beef with salted rice malt, a Wagyu beef and apple burger, and lastly, a slow-cooked baked apple.

On top of everything being extremely delicious, getting to enjoy dishes made with apples harvested from the orchard was a luxurious experience. Everyone received the warm hospitality of Fruit Farm Kato with a smile. It was a wonderful day.

Fruit Farm Kato
Furthermore, not only does this tour take you to and from Koriyama Station, but it also offers a pick up and drop off service for those living or staying in Koriyama City. With Magonote Travel originally being a taxi company, it knows how to play to its strengths. You can even enjoy this tour as a day trip due to Koriyama being only a 90-minute bullet train ride from Tokyo Station.

Here we introduced a food tour where you can enjoy a collaboration between a farm that produces Fukushima’s excellent food and a chef that knows the charms of Fukushima’s local ingredients. As the world tries to overcome the current pandemic, tours such as this one should be further recommended as a way to detox post-Covid. In addition to the tour introduced, there are many other Food Camp tours that offer various collaborations and special features.

Please check out this website for more information on past tours. Details on next year’s tours are scheduled to be released in March.

https://magonotetravel.co.jp/foodcamp/tour

*The information herein is as of December 2021.