Read in Japanese – Strawberry Picking During Covid 19

read in Japanese

(Koriyama Strawberry Farm)

In this post, I will guide you through reading and understanding a news story in Japanese.

This exercise is suitable for those of you who have at least an intermediate level.

It's a guided reading exercise. For each sentence that makes up the text, I will first provide you with a translation of the content of what you are going to read.

By doing so, your brain calms down. Reading turns into a sort of discovery or validation of how those same concepts and ideas are expressed in Japanese.

The format I will use is the following:

English translation > Vocabulary list > Original Japanese Text > Phonetic Transcription  > word-by-word translation.

Let's dive in:

Let's read the news headline

Fukushima - Strawberry Picking Begins with Countermeasures Against Infection

  • 福島 (Fukushima) – Fukushima
  • 感染症 (kansenshō) – infection
  • 対策をして (taisaku o shite) – taking precautions against
  • いちご狩り (ichigo-gari) – strawberry picking
  • 始まる  (hajimaru) – to start

福島・感染症対策をして いちご狩り始まる  

Fukushima - kansen-shō taisaku o shite - ichigogari hajimaru

Fukushima | infenction | countermeasures | (obj.) | doing | strawberry-hunting | starts

Now, let's read the news sentence by sentence

Let us now look at the first sentence of the text.

Families are enjoying picking strawberries at the Koriyama Strawberry Farm (Ichigo-en) in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.

  • 福島県 (Fukushima-ken) – Fukushima Prefecture
  • 郡山市 (Kōriyama-shi) - Koriyama City
  • いちご園 (ichigo-en) – Koriyama Strawberry Farm (lit. ‘strawberry garden’)
  • 家族連れ (kazokuzure) – families (lit. ‘[people] taking the family along’)
  • 楽しむ (tanoshimu) – to enjoy


 Fukushima-ken Kōriyama-shi no ichigo-en de wa, kazokuzure ga ichigogari o tanoshinde iru.

Fukushima-prefecture | Koriyama-city | of | strawberry-garden | at | as-for | families | (subj.) | strawberry-hunting | (obj.) | are enjoying

You can find the Koriyama Strawberry Farm website here.

Apparently, their usual 'all-you-can-eat' course has now been cancelled in favor of an individual strawberry picking experience.

As a measure against Coronavirus infections, eating and drinking are prohibited in the greenhouses, and masks must be worn while picking strawberries.

You can take home the strawberries you picked, or eat them freshly picked at picnic areas...

Interesting! Let’s keep reading:

The Koriyama Strawberry Farm grows four kinds of strawberries, including the Tochiotome and the less acidic Akihime, which are now ready for harvest.

  • とちおとめ (tochiotome) - a variety of Japanese strawberry
  • 酸味が控えめな (sanmi ga hikaeme na) - to be less acidic
  • 章姫 (akihime) - another Japanese strawberry variety
  • 栽培する (saibai suru) - to grow; to cultivate
  • 収穫 (shūkaku) - harvest
  • 時期 (jiki) - time; period
  • 迎える (mukaeru) - to welcome


Kōriyama ichigo-en de wa ‘tochiotome' ya sanmi ga hikaeme na ‘Akihime' nado yon shurui no ichigo o saibai shite ite, shūkaku no jiki o mukaete iru.

Koriyama | strawberry-garden | at | as-for | ‘tochiotome’ | and/or | to be less acid | ‘akihime’ | etc. | four | types | of | strawberry | (obj.) | are cultivating-and | harvest | of | period/time | (obj.) | are welcoming

Japanese fruit is delicious, but also very expensive because it is of the highest quality.

For those of you who are wondering what the difference is between the two varieties of strawberries mentioned above, here is a brief explanation taken from Kudamononavi:

read in Japanese

とちおとめ (tochiotome)

Registered as a variety in Tochigi Prefecture in 1996, the 'tochiotome' strawberry has an average weight of about 15 grams. It has low acidity and is very sweet. It is currently the #1 variety in terms of market share in eastern Japan.

あきひめ (akihime)

'Akihime' is a variety of strawberry bred by Mr. Akihiro Hagiwara in Shizuoka Prefecture. The "aki" in "Akihime" is said to be derived from the name of its breeder

A distinguishing feature of this type of strawberry is its elongated, conical shape. The fruit is slightly soft and pleasant to the touch. This variety, too, has low acidity and is very sweet.

Wow! These explanations really make you want to eat some, don't they?

Let’s now read the rest of the article:

In previous years, you could eat as many strawberries as you wanted, but in 2021, to avoid infection, the strawberry picking experience will be by reservation only.

  • 例年 (reinen) - in previous years; usually
  • 食べ放題にする (tabehōdai ni suru) to opt for ‘all-you-can-eat’
  • 完全予約制 (kanzen yoyaku-sei) - by (complete) reservation only
  • 摘み取り体験 (tsumitori taiken) - picking experience
  • ~にする (-ni suru) - to opt for


reinen wa ichigo no tabehōdai ni shite ita ga, nisen nijūichi-nen wa kansen-shō taisaku to shite kanzen yoyaku-sei no tsumitori taiken ni shite iru.

previous years | as-for | strawberries | of | all-you-can-eat | had opted for | but | 2021 | year | as-for | infections | precaution | as | complete | reservation | system | of | picking experience | is opting


Visitors are taking all possible precautions, such as wearing masks, while picking strawberries. A girl who picked (one) said, "There were so many red ones, it was fun”.

  • 訪れた人たち (otozueta hitotachi) - the people who visited; visitors
  • マスクの着用 (masuku no chakuyō) - lit. ‘the wearing of masks’
  • 対策 (taisaku) - precaution, countermeasure
  • 徹底する (tettei suru) - to be thorough 
  • 摘み取る (tsumitoru) - to pick
  • 女の子 (onna no ko) - girl
  • 赤いの (akai no) - red ones
  • いっぱい (ippai) - a lot
  • ある (aru) - to be (there)
  • 楽しい (tanoshii) - to be fun
  • 話す (hanasu) - to tell; to narrate

訪れた人たちはマスクの着用など対策を徹底して、いちごを摘み取っていた。 摘み取った女の子は「赤いのがいっぱいあって、楽しかったです。」と話していた。

otozureta hito-tachi wa masuku no chakuyō nado taisaku o tettei shite, ichigo o tsumitotte ita. Tsumitotta onna no ko wa ‘akai no ga ippai atte, tanoshikatta desu.' to hanashite ita.

have visited | people | as-for | masks | of | wearing | etc. | precautions | (obj.) | doing thoroughly-and | strawberries | (obj.) | were picking || has picked | girl | as-for | ‘red | one | (subj.) | a lot | there were-and | was fun’ | (quot.) | was saying

The strawberry picking experience at the Koriyama Strawberry Farm is offered until the end of May, and reservations can be made by phone or through the website.

  • 5月末 (gogatsu-matsu) - end of May
  • 予約 (yoyaku) - reservation
  • 電話 (denwa) - phone
  • ウェブサイト (uebusaito) - website
  • 受け付ける (uketsukeru) - to accept


Kōriyama ichigo-en no tsumitori taiken wa gogatsu-matsu made de, yoyaku wa denwa to uebusaito de uketsukete iru.

Koriyama | strawberry-garden | of | picking experience | as-for | end of May | until | is-and | reservations | as-for | website | at/through | are accepting

Good! We are done with the guided reading. How did it go?

If you want to try reading the original text now that you are aware of its content and vocabulary, here's the full news text again:

福島・感染症対策をして いちご狩り始まる  

2021年1月24日 (日)




 訪れた人たちはマスクの着用など対策を徹底して、いちごを摘み取っていた。 摘み取った女の子は「赤いのがいっぱいあって、楽しかったです。」と話していた。



There you go!

I hope you enjoyed this guided reading exercise.

If you found this type of post helpful, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Sources & Images: Yahoo Japan News, Koriyama Strawberry Farm, Kudamononavi

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