There are many ranches and farms in Japan where you can interact with animals, enjoy various experiences and activities, and savor delicious food. Here are seven of the most recommended ranches and farms all over Japan where you can do all these things!
Occupying an approximately 1,700ha land, Naitai Highland Farm is the largest public ranch in Japan, and it's located in northern Tokachi. In the summer, the cows here are sent out to graze, so you will be able to spend a relaxing time while gazing at these cows that are strolling along the vast meadow. Go to the viewing deck and you can see the great plain spread as far as the eye can see. And when you get hungry, you can head to the rest area and eat Japanese beef burgers, buttered potatoes, and rich-tasting soft-serve ice cream.
1. Naitai Highland Farm (Hokkaido)
Zao Dairy Center is located at the foot of the Zao mountain range. There is a petting zoo named Heartland inside this facility, and there you can interact with cute rabbits, sheep, and goats. There is also a facility where you can experience making milk products, as well as a shop where you can enjoy cheese dishes and barbecue (some facilities are closed from December to March). There is also a produce stand adjacent to the cheese factory that sells Zao cheeses.
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2. Zao Dairy Center (Miyagi)
Senbonmatsu Ranch takes pride in the nature, food and hot springs in Nasushiobara. There are many ways for guests to enjoy the ranch, including petting animals, going on a peaceful walk through the woods, and cycling. You can also go for a dip in the hot springs at the Japanese garden-inspired open-air bath. The hot-air balloon (available on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays only) that will let you enjoy a trip to the sky for about 3 minutes is also highly recommended. The view from 20m above ground is simply glorious! And don’t forget the town’s specialty food, Genghis Khan mutton barbecue!
You can also enjoy taking a therapeutic walk in the greenery ranch.
3. Senbonmatsu Ranch (Tochigi)
Mother Farm is a popular spot in Futtsu. Here, you can join the Mother Farm Tour (not available during the busy season) where a guide will show you around the farm while riding on a tractor train. You can also interact with sheep, goats, alpacas, and other animals. Don’t miss the amazing and powerful show with about 150 sheep (not available in July and August). You can also try milking the cows, go horseback riding, and pick seasonal fruits and vegetables.
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4. Mother Farm (Chiba)
Located in the Okumino region, Bokka no Sato is a facility with an elevation of 1,000m. Its huge flowerbeds are constantly filled with blossoming flowers from spring until fall, such as tulips, lavenders and cosmos. One of the main attractions of this facility is that guests get to interact with animals such as cows, horses, and alpacas. You can also watch the horse show, as well as ride on the horses. And you won’t be able to resist their barbecue meals with first-class meats such as the region’s own Hida beef!
5. Hirugano Highland Bokka no Sato (Gifu)
Mokumoku Tezukuri Farm is a farm located in Iga with nature, agriculture and handcrafting as its theme. During this farm’s hands-on workshops, you can try making your own sausages and eat them right there or even take them home with you. There are restaurants here that serve hams, sausages, craft beers, and other food items that were produced at the workshops inside the farm. If you stay at the adjacent cottages for the night, they will let you help take care of the cows and you can enjoy other activities.
6. Iga no Sato Mokumoku Tezukuri Farm (Mie)
Utopia Farm Miyakojima is located in Miyakojima, one of the outlying islands. This farm takes pride in the nearly 50 breeds of bougainvilleas from all over the world that grow here. If you visit, you will be welcomed by colorful flowers that are very typical of Okinawa, Japan’s southern islands. They also cultivate mangoes, papayas, and other tropical fruits. Meanwhile, at the parlor inside the farm, you can enjoy the soft-serve ice cream that is made with a blend of the fruits harvested from the farm.
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7. Utopia Farm Miyakojima (Okinawa)
The spots recommended here are places where you can enjoy a slightly different experience from the standard tourist destinations in the country. These places offer a wide range of fun activities, so there’s no doubt that kids and adults alike will be extremely satisfied.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.