Japan Delica Family Club Report: Autumn apple hunting and the turning of leaves
This post is part of our effort to share what Japanese 4wd Automotive culture was like decades ago. This was a letter to the Editor of Pajero Delica magazine from a club spokesperson giving an update on goings on. 4x4ward has translated the original Japanese to the best of our ability, with some editing happening for clarity and sentence structure. Images have also been processed with a colorizing AI.
Club Report: Autumn apple hunting and the turning of leaves
This time around it's a report of JDF's (Japan Delica Family) weekday event, the 2nd annual Autumn apple hunting and forest leaves road touring. We held it on October 2nd 1996, and Mr. Noriyuki Fukashin, who was introduced in the Pajero Delica magazine issue "I LOVE PAJERO & DELICA", came and participated as well. After I arrived, the club joined as well. We had 5 cars gathered at Miyoshi PA on the Kan-Etsu Expressway at 8 that morning. An hour later we met another group in Kosaka.
Four cars joined us at the Service Area, for a total of 9 cars and 20 total Delica freaks together. After an overview of the route in the morning at the Takasaka Service Area, I lead the convoy while enjoying fun conversations over CB radio. And in no time we arrived at the Ringo no Satuo, Numata Interchange (note: approx 60 mile drive). From there, we headed to the Satori Apple Orchard nearby, and finally it was apple gathering time, our main event of the day. We heard from the farmer that it was 500yen per apple (about $0.50), each person takes a basket and heads in to the field for as many as they'd like.
The apples eaten immediately after picking were exceptional, and I had lunch in the field enjoying a good time. There are about 4 or 5 kinds of apples available, and I heard that the new world is the most beautiful variety. When I tried it, it was filled with honey flavor and tasted awesome (the author may be referring to the Honeycrisp apple, which was a new species around this time). On the other hand, the Fuji apple seemed to be a little early.
In the afternoon, we separated from Mr Negishi, one of the members who started work that evening at the Namata Interchange, and I headed for Okunikko via Route 8 with eight cars in tow. On the way, we took a rest in Katashina village, enjoying some time in the hot springs before passing through the Konsei tunnel. Nikko was filled with wonderful autumn leaves. I left after taking a break at Senjogahara, but there was a heavy traffic jam from Sejogahara to the outside of Nikko city because of an accidenty. So, I made a quick u-turn and headed through Kotoku Ranch towards Sanno Forest Road, then entered the Tohoku Expressway. Despite the detour, we ended as originally planned at Hasuda PA.