Grape Picking in Okinawa: ぶどう狩り

ぶどう, ブドウ, or 葡萄 budou means “grapes.”

狩り kari means “hunting” which in this context means more like “picking fruit.”

Believe it or not, there are 2 farms located in Nakijin (North part of Okinawa, not far from Nakijin castle 今帰仁城) that have grape picking for a short time in July. One is Komesu vineyard 米須ぶどう園 and the other is Ishikawa vineyard 石川ぶどう園. In the past I believe there were more, but these are the 2 that I know of. Both farms grow the kyoho grape variety 巨峰, which are a large and sweet.

Now, this is not really cheap here in Okinawa, so you won’t be getting a “deal” or anything… though there is no entrance fee, it is 1500yen per kilogram. That being said, they are fresh and very delicious.

Anyway, after missing the season last year, at last we made our way up there. If you visit, look for the flags with ぶどう狩り or 巨峰 and pictures of grapes. We got to Komesu at 10am, were explained the rules, given scissors and a basket, and let loose. We were told the grapes in the bags with a red mark were ripe and ready for being cut down. Since it is not terribly cheap, we only cut a few down.

Afterwards they weighed the fruits of our labor and we paid the fee. We also tried a grape smoothie made with local kyoho grapes being sold by a vendor at the vineyard… I don’t normally like grape flavored things, but made with fresh local grapes the ice-cold smoothie was sooo good.

We decided to drive to Ishikawa vineyard next since it was nearby. This vineyard was a little more difficult to find, located off a road not even in GoogleMaps… so you may end up circling a bit. We stopped by and took pictures. It was a bit more crowded (with all locals), so we decided we probably had enough grapes anyway and moved along. Overall we had quite a bit of fun and the fresh grapes really are much better than what you normally buy in the stores. To be honest, I don’t typically love grapes, but I really like these kyoho grapes.

Both places recommend calling ahead to make sure they have enough grapes for picking, or even reservations if it is particularly busy (otherwise you may drive up there and leave empty-handed). We took our chances and did not call ahead, but since we were there early in the morning, as well as one of the first weekends they were open for picking, we had no problems at all. So I recommend showing up close to opening time (9am) and NOT waiting until the end of the day, otherwise you may be out of luck. I also recommend trying to get there early in the picking season, otherwise they close up shop when they run out of grapes; this is what happened to us last year. Typically the season is during the whole month of July; usually the event sites or newspaper publish an article when the time is near.


Komesu vineyard 米須ぶどう園:

Ishikawa vineyard 石川ぶどう園: