I went to Mother Farm, or Mother Bokujō (マザー牧場), with my sister during summer (early August). It was very hot, but sunny weather meant less muddy grounds to walk on, and more animals to see! This place had many good reviews so I was very excited.
Mother Farm is essentially an entertainment farm, showcasing vast flower fields and animals. First up, they have animal events: the sheep shearing show, the sheepdog’s ability to herd and even a duck parade. These events were located at different places in the farm. We caught part of the sheep show where they brought out different breeds of sheep, ranging from the famous Merino, Suffolk, and Cheviot. I never knew that there were so many different breeds! I was slightly apprehensive but in awe when I watched the farmhand clipping the wool off with such dexterity. Unfortunately the poor sheep looked really uncomfortable while its wool was trimmed.
There are many animals which you can pet on the farm. The petting zone had many farm animals, such as ducks, pigs and goats, and also a few non-farm animals such as the Patagonian mara (looks like a cross between a small kangaroo and a capybara) and the capybara. The animals were just lazing around in the shaded area, so you don’t have to stand in the sun to pet them. They were really tame and it was easy even for children to pet them without worry. Sadly, the Patagonian maras were rather shy and they kept running anyway. Not to worry, the petting zone has various no entry areas where the animals can escape to avoid human touch, or take a rest from all the excited children.
There was also flower or fruit picking that visitors can try out for a small fee. As they have seasonal fruits and flowers, be sure to check what is available to avoid disappointment! It was the blueberry season for us. We paid the entry fee of 200 yen per person entry fee. There is also an additional fee of 100 yen per 100 gram for the amount of blueberries you pick. There were 3 different types of blueberries planted, but I could only identify two. Be warned, there are huge spiders and caterpillars in the blueberry fields, so it may not be an enjoyable experience if you have these phobias. We were uncomfortable with the spiders, so we only picked a mere 60 grams (60 yen!) worth of blueberries. You can also buy Mother Farm’s blueberry jam (really delicious!) if you want some with your morning toast.
We also took a walk among the flower fields. You can enjoy different colours and sights if you go at different times because the flowers are seasonal. Seasonal rain is another factor that will determine the appearance of the flowers. There was a sign apologizing for the wilted appearance of the petunias because a long monsoon rain had affected the growth of the petunias. Nonetheless, the vast flower fields still look like rather marvelous, perhaps even more if you come from a concrete jungle like Singapore. Be sure to obey the rules and walk on only the designated paths so you don’t trample on the flowers.
Try some Mother Farm specialties while you take in the sights of Mother Farm. Soft serve ice creams were popular in the summer heat. As with much of the food, the ingredients are fresh from Mother Farm. You can also smell the Genghis Khan Barbecue in the summer air. I highly recommend the thick and creamy yoghurt drink. The texture also reminded me of Kyushu’s Jersey cow milk. After tasting the yoghurt drink, the milk fell short of expectations and did not feel creamy.
The cute alpaca curry at Mother Factory Restaurant is a must-try! The curry contains beef chunks (from Mother Farm produce), and a small serving of fruits and salad (1030 yen). They also have an amakuchi (mild, non-spicy curry) curry for children, but I had the standard spicy curry. The curry was delicious but the real draw for me was the cute design.
Mother Farm also sells T-shirts of their own designs, farm produce, and treats made with their farm ingredients. You don’t have to buy anything until you are ready to leave because they sell all their products at the biggest souvenir shop near the car park. If in doubt, you can ask the shop assistants for confirmation as well. The range of farm produce might seem limited, but the varieties they have will leave you spoilt for choice. The blocks of cheese form a colourful display in the fridge case, while the packs of sausages, hams and pickles are accompanied by cooking tips in the cooler. They also sell wine from their own winery.
While Mother Farm is geographically inconvenient, I still recommend this place to people who love good food, animals, and greenery. You may have to walk quite a distance since the farm is huge, but it is definitely a different experience from other sightseeing spots in Japan.
How we got to Mother Farm
We took the free shuttle bus to Mother Farm. The free shuttle bus requires a reservation (made by 4pm the day before the trip), so we asked the hotel staff to help us. The bus leaves exactly at 10:40 am, so it is vital to arrive early. It takes approximately 30 minutes for the bus to reach Mother Farm. You also have to make a reservation for the return trip to Kimitsu station the day before. However, you can choose to make a single trip reservation as well. The bus for the return trip is parked at Yama no ue Gate (山の上ゲート). It leaves Mother Farm at exactly 3: 30 pm and does not wait for latecomers!
You can get to the JR Kimitsu station from Tokyo or Chiba by taking the Uchibo line. At the JR Kimitsu station, the shuttle bus is waiting in front of a shop with a 魚民 huge sign board.
If you are planning on taking a taxi from Chiba, you can just tell the taxi driver “Mother Bokujō” or show the address. If you wish to drive there, you can just input the address below into the GPS.
Address: Mother Farm (マザー牧場) 940-3 Tagura Futtsu Chiba Prefecture Hotline (not toll-free): +81-439-37-3211