Literally, golden and delicious.

How ‘Bout Them Apples?

This post has been a long time coming – more than a month, in fact. The first weekend of November, when snow was merely a worry for the distant future, a few friends and I made the trek out to Hirosaki to pick apples. Growing up in the northeastern part of the United States, I’d always had a few apple orchards within close proximity, but somehow, picking apples was never part of my life.

The apple orchards of Hirosaki Apple Park.
The apple orchards of Hirosaki Apple Park.
Literally, golden and delicious.
Literally, golden and delicious.

I’ve always loved apples (especially when baked into one of my mum’s famous pies), so perhaps it’s only fitting that now I live in the home of the Fuji apple, a place that’s responsible for producing more apples than any other place in Japan. Hirosaki is the crown jewel of Aomori’s apple empire, so the Apple Park had been calling my name for quite a while.

Even the manholes in Hirosaki are adorned with apples.
Even the manholes in Hirosaki are adorned with apples.
Getting resourceful to reach the pristine apples just out of our grasp.
Getting resourceful to reach the pristine apples just out of our grasp.
I decided to go with the ladder.
I decided to go with the ladder.

Not only were we able to pick as many apples as we wanted, but the prices were also much lower than what we could ever hope to find in a grocery store, especially since these apples were monstrously huge. I ended up going home with about eight, and it took me more than two weeks to finish them all off.

Our crew, with a few of our spoils.
Our crew, with a few of our spoils.
Can I take "Queen of the Apples" as an official title?
Can I take “Queen of the Apples” as an official title?
This tree inspired a bit of a debate among us "Game of Thrones" fans.
This tree inspired a bit of a debate among us “Game of Thrones” fans.

Though the obvious main draw of Apple Park was picking your own produce, there were other attractions, too. There was a nice lookout point, and we wandered through some of the other orchards. The map at the entrance of the park proclaimed that “Newton’s Tree” was on the property, but that proved to be a little….lackluster, to put it nicely. Thankfully the apples we took home with us didn’t follow suit.

Expectation: "Ooooh, Newton's tree, that'll be interesting!"
Expectation: “Ooooh, Newton’s tree, that’ll be interesting!”
Reality: "This is like...'Charlie Brown's Christmas tree' level of scrawny.
Reality: “This is like…’Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree’ level of scrawny.

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