Oita is lush with various fruits, and one in particular are grapes. A 30 minute drive from Usa takes us to Ajimu, an area famous for grape growing and award-winning wineries. Within this district is 歩くように (Able to Walk), a grape growing house, that we (myself and other English teachers) decide to visit one rainy afternoon.
When we arrive, we are met by a man who shows us a table of different grapes laid neatly in plates. He tells us that at the age of 50, he left his job to follow his passion to grow as many grape varieties as possible. He’s managed to grow 40 different varieties throughout the year, and there are 9 in season on the table.
There are numbers printed on pieces of paper sitting next to each plate. Here, he instructs us to taste every one. Once we decide which one we like the most, we are allowed to enter the greenhouse to pick your grape of choice.
All the grapes bunches are already bagged, and we only need to pick the one (or more) that we would like.
After our haul, we head back to the tables to pay. They are definitely the most expensive grapes I’ve ever purchased, but that doesn’t come into consideration once we take them home to eat. They are what you only dream grapes taste like, and I wouldn’t have any qualms coming back to get some more, once I’ve devoured these.
On our way back home, we stop for lunch and ice cream by a local grocery store.
The grape ice cream is a must try!
Finally, at home, we try one of the grapes that we’ve bought. These. Are. Fantastic. I wish I could send them to everyone to try, because it must tasted to be truly appreciated and to understand how different these taste.