Just a short drive from Tokyo, we entered into what felt like another world with Hattori Farm. I’d been enticed by the rumor of pony rides, but when my friend and I arrived with our sons, we learned that they didn’t start until later in the season. Luckily, I hadn’t mentioned pony rides to my two-year-old… and he was happy enough with the farm animals we did see.
Farm life is in my blood. My mom grew up on a farm (my uncle actually writes a series of amazing children’s books based on their lives in south Georgia) and while I don’t have the inclination to ever live on one myself, an appreciation for the land and the ability to grow your own food are things I want to pass down to my children. And also child labor might mean my gardens get a lot more attention than they’re used to.
And obviously they’ll learn to love tractors.
Because who doesn’t?
The views of the mountains from the farm reminded me of one of my favorite spots on earth – the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia – and it’s one of the first places in Japan that really felt like ‘home.’
Of course, everywhere feels like home when there is farm fresh ice cream to be had. My son and I are not great sharers when it comes to ice cream, so we just had to get two – a cherry vanilla and a strawberry & cream. Both incredibly delicious!
Once we’d had our fill, it was on to pet some animals! It was really important to me that we get to pet something on the farm, and I used my very best
Japanese pantomime to make sure the farm workers were cool with it.
They might have thought we were going to be a little more responsible about it though.
But we weren’t!
The farm was great for small children and people like me who needed their nature and ice cream fix. There were horses, goats, cows, sheep, chickens, and dogs learning the intricacies of sheep herding while we were there. It was a little light on entertainment options with no pony rides available, but thankfully toddlers are fairly excited about life in general!
Hattori Farm is open year-round, with rumored pony rides in the summer beginning in June. Delicious ice cream is available any time.