Harvest Festival Q & A
Q:Can anyone attend the Harvest Festival?
A:The Harvest Festival is open to all guests. We charge a \3,000 Participation Fee for the Festival. In return, all guests will receive a Harvest Kit and gain entrance to the fairgrounds.Tickets can also be purchased in advance at the winery guest room, and we suggest pre-purchasing to provide for a quicker transit through our Reception area.
Q: What is in the Harvest Kit?
A: The Harvest Kit will provide you with the basic “equipment” you need to enjoy the Harvest Festival. It contains….
The choice of beverages for this year’s Harvest Festival will be…
1.A Carafe (750ml) of this year’s Freshly-Made Wine using 100% Japanese grapes.
2.A Bottle of Red Wine (750ml) with a corkscrew [California Red wine made exclusively for Coco Farm.]
3.A Bottle of White Wine (750ml) with a corkscrew [White Wine using 100% Japanese grapes.]
4.A Bottle of Freshly-Made Grape Juice with a box of garlic toast. [For children and those who cannot drink alcohol.]
Additionally, please note that…
・All wines (Nos. 1, 2, and 3 above) will also come with a small bottle of mineral water to prevent dehydration and excessive alcohol intake.
・All bottled wines (Nos. 2 and 3 above) will bear a special Harvest Festival Commemorative label.
・At times the wines and juices listed above may be unavailable. We ask your patience, and will try very hard to provide an acceptable alternative.
・The Harvest Festival glasses and badges are imprinted with this year’s Harvest Festival date. If inventories run out, we shall be distributing glasses and badges without this year’s date to late-comers. These badges and glasses can be exchanged at a later date for items with the proper date.
・We apologize that we will be unable to allow for credit card payment of the Harvest Kits at the Reception Area of the Harvest Festival. Cash only, please.
Q: What is the Freshly-Made Wine?
A: The Freshly-Made Wine is this year’s New Wine, poured directly from tank into a carafe for you to enjoy. It is still quite cloudy with yeast, and slightly spritzy from the fermentation, and at times may be sweet. This is a tradition found in many wine regions around the world (like Federweiser in Germany or Heurige in Austria), and we are happy to provide this alternative for you at the Harvest Festival.
Please note the following with regard to the Freshly-Made Wine…
・It will be available at four locations in the Fairgrounds.
・The varieties of the wines to be poured will be updated on the Coco Farm website.
・Be careful not to drink too much as it is easy to drink because of a lower alcohol volume than other wines being served.
・The Freshly-Made Wines are served in carafe without lid. These wines are not stabilized, and are to be enjoyed “in the moment”. We ask that you do not attempt to bring unfinished carafe wines home, as the wine will surely change in quality quite rapidly after a day or so.
Q: I purchased and enjoyed the Freshly-Made Wine last year, and still have the empty carafe. Can I re-use the carafe this year?
A: Yes, we encourage re-use of last year’s carafe. If you show us your carafe at the Reception area, when you pay you will also be given a Coco Farm ‘Cocorone Coin’, worth \500 in selected areas around the Fairgrounds. Please make sure to wash the carafe thoroughly before use.
Q: Can I bring something to eat?
A: We are very sorry, but due to Japanese Food Safety laws, it is prohibited to consume food or beverages in the Fairgrounds that were purchased elsewhere.
Our Food Courts will serve fresh, tasty dishes that can be purchased for a nominal fee. Please understand the reason why we have to prohibit the consumption
of foods bought elsewhere during the Festival.
Q: Can I buy a Harvest Festival ticket in advance?
A: Harvest Festival tickets can be pre-purchased at the Winery’s Guest Room.
Q: Do young children have to pay the Participation fee?
A: At the Harvest Festival, we request payment from everyone who has finished compulsory education. For those participants who are under 20 years (the legaldrinking age in Japan), we will provide grape juice with a glass and badge.Basically, although we don’t charge children who are not yet of high school age, some parents buy the harvest-kit for their younger children so that they may receive a bottle of juice and the attendant snack.
Q: If I only want to buy wine do I have to pay the fee for Harvest Festival?
A: For the two days of the Harvest Festival our normal Guest Room and shop is closed to those not paying the Harvest Festival Participation fee. On those dayswe will set up a temporary shop just prior to the Reception Area, and anyone can buy wine in this shop. The Harvest Festival usually results in tremendoustraffic around the winery, though, so we do not recommend coming on those days to purchase wine. You can purchase wine on-line at http://www.cocowine.com, or you can buy our wine from a local liquor store. A listing of shops that carry our wines can be found on our web site, under the heading “introduction of the liquor shops near your houses”.
Q: Is it possible to book a winery tour or tasting for either of the Harvest Festival days?
A: Between 13 November and 16 November, the winery’s Guest Room will be closed, and we will not conduct tours and tastings. Our terrace cafe is also on holiday before and during the Harvest Festival. Visitors can purchase dishes by cash at the food courts and can eat them in the vineyard during the Harvest Festival. On other days we regularly offer winery tours and tastings through the Guest Room and Wine Shop, and lunches and snacks are served at our café. The winery and café will be closed each year from 31 December to 2 January and for 5 days from third Monday of January; additionally, the winery and café will be closed to the public for the day prior to each year’s Harvest Festival (as explained above).
Q: Can I arrive by car to take part in the Harvest Festival?
A: Please be advised that we offer no parking (either free or paid) at the Harvest Festival fairgrounds. This is an attempt to eliminate the incidence of drunk driving. If you plan on coming bay car to our Festival, you will need to park in the city and come up to the winery and Fairgrounds by some other method (taxi, bus, etc). A list of available city parking lots can be found here: http://www.ashikaga-kankou.jp/access/parking .
For further information, please contact the Ashikaga Tourist Agency at: 0284-43-3000.
If you do plan to come by car, please remember: absolutely NO DRUNK DRIVING will be tolerated. Local police will be patrolling areas near the fairgrounds to check for people driving under the influence, people parking illegally on roadsides, etc.
If you plan on booking a large bus to come as a group, you should take care to book parking in advance. Please contact our local JTB branch for further details: http://www.jtb.co.jp/shop/houjinryoumou/ , TEL 0284-20-2186.
Q: I have heard that there can be a long wait (over an hour) to board any of the Festival shuttle buses departing from Ashikaga station and Ashikaga-shi station. Will you be providing more buses?
A: Unfortunately we cannot provide more buses as the number of buses we may run is subject to local zoning laws. Festival shuttle buses will run between the winery, and Ashikaga station and Ashikaga-shi station from 8:30AM. In order to minimize your wait time, we suggest you refrain from using the buses during the peak hour of 10:30AM to 11:30AM. To learn more about the shuttle bus, please contact Kyoei Kanko Ashikaga service center: http://www.kyoeikanko.com/cocofarm.htm, TEL 0284-70-3056.
Q: How far is it to get to the winery on foot from the local train stations?
A:The distance is about 6.22km and would take about 1 hour and 20 minutes on foot from Ashikaga-shi station (Tobu Isezaki Line). From Ashikaga station (the JR Ryomo Line), the distance is 5.38 km and it is 70 minute walk.
Q: What is the departure time for the last shuttle bus to the winery?
A:The last shuttle buses leave Ashikaga-shi station and Ashikaga station for the winery at 2:00PM. To learn more about the shuttle bus, please contact Kyoei Kanko Ashikaga service center: http://www.kyoeikanko.com/cocofarm.htm, TEL 0284-70-3056.
Q: Can I go to the Festival by a chartered bus?
A: As the venue is surrounded by mountains, the roads are quite narrow and can become quite congested on the Harvest Festival days. If you plan on coming by chartered bus, you should take care to book parking in advance. Bookings are being accepted from September 1. Please contact our local JTB branch for further details: http://www.jtb.co.jp/shop/houjinryoumou/ , TEL 0284-20-2186.
Q:Should I bring a picnic blanket or mat to sit on?
A: As the venue is our commercial vineyard, it would be useful to have something to sit on. We apologize, but cannot provide any formal seating. We also sell the picnic sheets (120cm × 180cm \500).
Q: Is the Festival wheelchair accessible?
A: Taxis can drop off handicapped guests at the Reception Area. If you need a taxi with lift, please book one in advance at:
Ryomo Hire ( http://www.ashikaga-kankou.jp/stay/ryomohire ) TEL 0284-41-6101
Ashikaga Taxi ( http://Ashikaga-taxi.com/ ) TEL 0284-21-4121
Q: Can I take my dog?
A: Only service dogs (guide dogs, service dogs and hearing dogs) will be allowed in the winery, café, and Guest Room areas.Although we do not prohibit well trained dogs from the Festival grounds, please be aware that many dogs do not take well to the very crowded environs of the Harvest Festival.
Q: Is smoking permitted at the Festival?
A: Smoking is generally prohibited at the venue. We will provide three smoking areas at the Festival: beside the Upper Pond, beside the pool and in front of the Cocoromi Gakuen Office. You may smoke there, but please do not smoke elsewhere during the Festival.
Q: Is the Harvest Festival held on specific dates?
A: The Harvest Festival is always held on the 3rd Sunday of November, and the preceding Saturday.
Q: What time does the festival start? Can I reserve a seating area with my picnic sheet on the days before the Festival?
A: The festival starts at 10:00AM on each day (Saturday and Sunday) .The Reception Area opens at 8:00AM, and you may enter freely (after purchasing your ticket) any time after.
Q: Can I have a friend drop me off at the venue on the morning of the event? If so, where should I get out of my friend’s car?
A: Loading and unloading of passengers can be done at the local Village Meeting Hall. The hall ( http://104.com/name_0284424852/) is not the place for parking, but you may load and unload passengers there.
Q: Is there a specific schedule for the festival proceedings?
A: The festival starts at 10:00AM and finishes at 3:00PM on both days. We will have live music running continuously during this time. The performers’ names and performance times will be listed in the Harvest Festival Newspaper available at the Reception area of the Festival grounds.
Q: Do you have any English information about the festival?
A: Please check here: (http://www.cocowine.com/contents/english/special-events/harvest-festival). We also prepare an English-language version of the Harvest Festival ‘Newspaper’, available on the Festival days.
Q: Will the festival be held even in the event of inclement weather?
A: Yes, we will have the Festival even in the event of rain.
Q: What are the Festival grounds like?
A: The Festival grounds are in our commercial vineyard, a steep, rocky slope. The footing can be quite slippery. We also provide no seating for the guests, so you will need to provide your own seating (preferably a picnic sheet or blanket), or you will be sitting on the ground. It is advisable that you dress warmly, and wear comfortable shoes.
Please be advised that you cannot use fire (barbecues, etc.) in the vineyard, and smoking is in designated areas only.