Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The joy of mikan picking and large spiders

So, our family has enjoyed the wonders of Suo-Oshima on several occasions... some of which I have blogged about (click here for the search and scroll down to read the posts in order). We did something new today that can only be done during the fall... and that only one member of the family had done before: mikan picking.

Mikans are small Japanese citrus fruit, something between a tangerine and an orange. The whole family thinks they are delicious, so having a bunch of them around the house... doesn't remain and bunch of them for long. I thought it would be fun to pick mikans as a family.

Quick directions: Oshima is off of route 188, as you head west from Iwakuni toward Yanai. The bridge is about 45 minutes away from base. After you drive across the green Oshima bridge, turn right, on to Route 4. Not too far down the road, on the left, are flags like this:

Turn left there and wind your way up the hill. When you see this, you know you are on the right track:

When you come upon this building:

... park somewhere close. This is where you pay and get the necessary tools to pick mikans.

All-you-can eat mikan picking is 500 yen (about $5) for adults, 400 yen for school-age kids 1-6th grade, I can't remember the price for kindergarteners (sorry) and kids under 3 were free. If you want a bag to take home that carries about 12 mikans, it is 800 yen.

You get the clipper rental for free.

So, 8-year-old Xan had gone mikan picking on field trips the past couple of years, so he was the resident expert. He showed up how to clip the mikans properly.

And then we commenced clipping.

And eating...

They lost money on Xan, I think. He ate the most in our family: 5 large mikans. Will at 3 and I ate 4.
Except for Rodney, who chose not to eat all he could eat, and chose to fill our take-home bags instead... while the rest of us ran around, stuffing our faces with sweet, juicy goodness.

There were even plastic crates all over the orchard to toss our peels in to:

All was fun and games until the spouse saw a large spider in a large spider web in the trees.

Then it was time to grab our mikans and go home, I was informed. But the kids and I did manage to frolic and have fun while the arachnophobe marveled at how I managed to walk past spiders without shrieking like a...well, girl. Seriously... he asked me how I could just walk past a big spider. Um... like this, honey... just don't look it in the eyes or turn your back on it.. okay? But I digress...

Here are shots of the orchard and the view of the sea from the orchard.

Once we were safely away from large spiders who were minding their own business, Rodney got to finally enjoy a mikan. He agreed that they were oishii!

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