Kannon Yama Fruit Garden offers unique fruit varieties

Kannon Yama Fruit Garden in Wakayama Prefecture is famous for its unique varieties of high quality fruit developed over many years of specialised cultivation. Visitors can come and pick, view and (of course!) taste the delicious citrus and stonefruits.

Kannonyama in Japanese means Mountain of the Goddess of Mercy. The Kodama family has been cultivating the orchard for over one hundred years. 

Ootama mandarins at Kannon Yama Fruit Garden
Ootama mandarins © Kannon Yama Fruit Garden

Who has heard of, never mind eaten, Samurai Oranges? Geisha Oranges? Ninja Oranges?Thought so – time you got to Kannon Yama Fruit Garden and discovered them!

They produce over 50 different varieties of seasonal fruits and make more than 10 unique fruit products from jams to ciders. Try them at the Kannonyama Fruit Parlor or hand-pick your own fruit.

Trees are individually tended. Yes, they actually go to every tree individually and taste then label it when they are ready to eat. So you can buy single tree origin fruit – a bit different from supermarket mass production!

Peach picking at Kannon Yama Fruit Garden
Doesn’t get fresher than this! Momo – Peach picking © Kannon Yama Fruit Garden

Wakayama is located on the Kii Peninsula, near Osaka and Kyoto. The prefectural capital is Wakayama City. Wakayama has a warm, mild climate and abundant nature, and produces more fruit, including mandarin oranges, Japanese persimmons, and ume (a Japanese plum) than anywhere else in Japan.

The orchards run up hillside with lush forests behind.

Walk the hillside orchard at Kannon Yama Fruit Garden
The orchards run up the slopes with great views © Kannon Yama Fruit Garden

Kannon Yama Fruit Garden honey

The Kan-non Yama honey is renowned for taste and quality. With so much pollen the bees are happy and very productive. All their honey is uncooked, filtered raw honey bottled at a low temperature of 45° C or less. Many commercial honey products are subjected to high-temperature treatment or high-pressure treatment at 70° C or more, because of mass processing, and it is easy to lose the active ingredient of the precious honey.

Since only impurities are removed without heat destruction of food enzymes, the Kan-non Yama honey retains all its own nutrients and its natural sterilization and antibacterial properties.

As with their fruit, they want to deliver it as fresh and naturally as possible, minimising handling. The range varies according to which blossoms are being harvested by the busy bees to give them distinct flavours.

Enjoy delicious natural honey at Kannon Yam Fruit Garden
Which will be your favourite? © Kannon Yama Fruit Garden

Kannon Yama Fruit Parlour

Don’t miss the refreshing range of fruit jellies either.

For gifts how about Lemon Marmalade?

Kannon Yama’s Mikan Juice is also worth a taste. They keep it for one year to make sure the juice has full bodied flavour. No where else in the world has this full-bodied juice.

Their special persimmon is called TaishuGaki which is rare even in Japan, and has a most amazing taste. 

Check it all out at the Fruit Parlour.

Where is Kannon Yama Fruit Garden?

Located in Kinokawa city, it’s near Osaka, Kyoto and Kansai Airport. If you are flying in or out of there adding a couple of days on the peninsula is a relaxing add on to any itinerary.

Easiest way to get to Kannon Yama is by JR West train from Kyoto to Kokawa station, then get a taxi for the 10 minute ride.

Kannon Yama internship program for international visitors

If you are interested in participating in the Kannonyama Fruit Garden Internship Program, which provides opportunities for foreigners to come and stay and work check their website link below. The aim of the internship is to foster good relations between Japan and the international community through experiences in agriculture.

Lunch break for workers at Kannon Yama Fruit Garden
Lunch break working in the orchards © Kannon Yama Fruit Garden

Useful links

For the fruit garden check their facebook here

For Wakayama prefecture info check here

Wakayama Prefecture World Heritage Shrines

While in the Wakayama area don’t miss the World Heritage Kumano Sanzan shrines.

For millennia the mountainous region of Kumano has been thought to be the mythical “holy ground where gods dwell” and pilgrims have been coming here for over a thousand years.

More on the Visit Wakayama English site here Wakayama prefecture info check here

A snippet to whet your appetite:

During the Heian period (794 – 1185), the Imperial household and court made the 30 to 40 day arduous journey from the ancient capital of Kyoto to this remote area, in search of heaven on earth. It is here that Kumano Sanzan, thethree grand shrines, and Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple, were established.

During the early days of the Heian period, the Kumano faith would filter down from the imperial family and aristocracy, spreading to the samurai warrior class, and beyond. So many people came, that the pilgrimage came to be known as the “march of the ants to Kumano.” The Kumano faith was unique in Japan because it was open to everyone regardless of class or sex, also welcoming the disabled. Today, there are about 3,000 Kumano Shrines in Japan.

This is Hashimoto shirine in Kaonan city, Wakayama – the house of the God of mikan, mandarins.