Guam's tropical fruit world has an old-time farm feel
Editor's note: Here's a special place on the island that many folks may not know about. So check it out! And, hey, if you know of other places that folks should know about, tell us about it. You can submit your story on this very site. We'd love to hear from you!
Those family trips of yesteryear to the local pumpkin patch needn’t be just a childhood memory. A special kind of farm on Guam offers a chance to create such memories anew, albeit with a jungle twist.
Welcome to Hamamoto Tropical Fruit World. Located off the cross-island road in Yona, it feels like the heart of Guam. It may not sport the pumpkins or Christmas trees you remember, but it’s guaranteed to please all the same.
The 50-acre farm was opened in 1996 by Hisamitsu Hamamoto, a farmer from Seiyo, Japan, who came to Guam in 1974. It now attracts an average of 50 people a day.
Local schools make regular field trips there throughout the year, especially on Earth Day and just before the summer and winter vacations, according to Yuko Manibusan, the farm’s corporate secretary.
“We are trying to promote ecotourism and the concept of growing things organically,” she said. “Visitors enjoy the gardening scene while getting educated.”
The farm hosts many activities that are informative and fun. The popular tractor ride carries people through the grounds, showcasing numerous tropical fruit trees.
They learn about some species of fruit they have never heard of and also about local horticulture. Visitors can come more than once during the year because the tour highlights different fruit trees depending on the season.
There is also instruction on how to squeeze fresh lemon juice and how to grow a lemon tree in a garden, as well as a demonstration of how to husk and grind a coconut.
“Kids generally enjoy the jungle ride, being outdoors in a natural setting and eating the fruit. And it’s educational. That’s why we get so many students here,” Manibusan said.
Visitors can partake of a fruit buffet offering fruit harvested that morning and/or a lunch buffet featuring barbecue hotdogs and chicken, white rice, salad and Japanese somen noodles.
It may not exactly be like the farm you visited as a child, but this one offers its own wonders, allowing visitors to dream again. Activities vary from week to week. Contact them to find out what is going on.
KNOW AND GO
Hamamoto Tropical Fruit World is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Specially for military personnel, admission (including the Jungle Tour) costs $12 for adults, $7 for children (ages 3 to 11). Narration is only in Japanese. Private tours in English are available for groups of 15 or more and cost $5 per person. The Fruit Buffet costs $15 for adults, $10 for children, while the Lunch Buffet is $12 and $7, respectively. The coconut demonstration costs $5 for adults, $3 for children.
For more information, contact Hamamoto Tropical Fruit World at (671) 789-6800.