Now Reports

Itoshima Now! February 2019

Strawberry Picking in Itoshima

Well known for high-quality vegetables and fresh produce, Itoshima also has plenty of strawberry farms. At three of them, you can pick your own berries, while at some others you can buy by the box. The season runs between January and early May. It’s fun for families, a date or a dessert after visiting Itoshima’s oyster huts. Here are two farms.

Isomoto Farm
Hirohide Isomoto began berry farming seven years ago and has offered pick-and-eat for the last four seasons. After picking you can relax inside a cute hut and snack on chiffon cake with fresh creme, and of course, the berries you picked. For more strawberry desserts and drinks, stop by their full-service cafe, Ichigo Cafe Tannal, located less than five minutes away by car.

• Open: 10:00~14:00 (last 13:00)
• Closed: Tue. (reservations required for weekends one day in advance by 14:00 and by phone.)
• Pick-and-eat (45 min.): 13 y.o. and over ¥2,100, Takeaway: ¥250/100 g
353-1 Shima-yoshida, Itoshima City

Sakura Farm
Yoshitaka Kanki has been growing strawberries here for six years and is proud to use organic fertilizers developed by Kyushu University. Instead of selling wholesale, all of his greenhouses are open to the public for pick-and-eat.

• Open: 10:00~15:00
• Closed: Irregular (check in advance)
• Pick-and-eat (60 min.): 13 y.o. and over ¥1,800, Takeaway: ¥2,000/1 kg
5966-3 Shima-sakurai, Itoshima City

Hop-On Drop-Off Rental Bicycles in Itoshima

Great news for those who want to explore Itoshima by bicycle. Ten new bikes have been added to the City’s rental fleet (now 23 in total.) That means six spanking brand new cross-bikes and four new full-size electric pedal-assist bicycles! These bikes can be rented at two new locations along Itoshima’s Sunset Road: Honey Coffee Itoshima in Nogita and at Oto Chaya Irori (inside Itoshima Picnic Village, near Keya no Oto). Even better, beginning in late February 2019, you can drop off these bicycles at either location and the Itoshima Tourist Center in front of JR Chikuzen-Maebaru Station. Showa Bus routes link all three sites.

Rental Rates for both cross-bikes and power-assisted bicycles:
2 hours ¥500, 4 hours ¥800, 8 hours ¥1,200 (additional ¥200/hr charged for extra hours)

Three Hop-On & Drop-Off Locations

Itoshima Tourist Center (JR Chikuzen-Maebaru Station, North Exit)

• Open: 9:00~15:00 (last return 17:00)
• Reservations accepted on weekdays only, otherwise, it’s first-come-first-served.
• 092-322-2098
• Access: Located in front of JR Chikuzen-Maebaru Station. From Tenjin or Hakata (Fukuoka) take the City Subway/JR Kyushu train westward. Takes about 37 minutes and the fare is ¥580 one way.
• Stock: 5 cross-bikes and 8 power-assisted bicycles.

Honey Coffee Itoshima (at the Nogita intersection)

2186-1 Shima-nogita, Itoshima City
• Open: 10:00~17:00, Sat. & Sun: 9:00~17:00 (must return by 17:00)
• Closed: open every day
• Nearest Bus Stop: Nogita Bus Stop (Showa Bus). Takes about 20 minutes to JR Chikuzen-Maebaru Station.
• Stock: 3 cross-bikes and 2 power-assisted bicycles.

Oto Chaya Irori (inside Itoshima Picnic, near Keya no Oto)

741-1 Shima-keya, Itoshima City
• Open: 11:00 ~ 17:00. Must return by 17:00.
• Closed: Wed.
• Nearest Bus Stop: Keya Bus Stop (Showa Bus). Takes about 30 minutes to JR Chikuzen-Maebaru Station.
• Stock: 3 cross-bikes and 2 power-assisted bicycles.

For ideas on some places to visit in Itoshima, read these posts:
Touring Itoshima on Electric-assisted Bicycles (April 2018)
Itoshima Now – a monthly series of reports on places to see in Itoshima

Mori to Coffee

Three years ago Keita Yamada and his wife Saori moved from Hokkaido to Itoshima with the dream of opening a cafe and roasting beans. On Jan. 11 they proudly opened the doors to Mori to Coffee, a customized trailer containing two roasting machines and just enough space for a few customers to sit and sip freshly made drip coffee. Alternatively, relax campsite style on their garden covered with wood chips. They roast 11 varieties of beans of which 3 or 4 are kept in stock. Coffee is ¥200/cup and included free of charge with the purchase of beans.

Mori to Coffee / 森とコーヒー
• Open: 12:00~20:00
• Closed: Mon., Tue., Wed.
1357-10 Hon, Itoshima City

To learn more about Itoshima now, click here!

Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn242, Feb. 2019)

Published: Jan 31, 2019 / Last Updated: Mar 12, 2020