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The reputations of farmers who actively invest in and promote their farms are spreading beyond borders on the internet. "Sweet and fresh," said Thammaporn Rattanatan, 45, from Thailand, after tasting some of the produce at a strawberry farm in Chikushino, Fukuoka Prefecture, in late May. "These fruits are high-end products in Thailand but they're reasonable here," she said. Japanese strawberries boast high quality but are very expensive in Thailand due to logistical costs. So a 40-minute all-you-can-eat strawberry picking experience for 1,900 yen ($17) was an attractive offer for her and many other visitors. Read also: All aboard! Hello Kitty bullet train debuts in Japan Between November 2017 and May 2018, about 4,200 foreign travelers, a 1.5-fold increase from two years earlier, visited the Chikushino strawberry farm, backed by positive reviews on Facebook. The farm is located a 30-minute drive from Fukuoka airport. It opened a cake shop in February 2017 and will begin blueberry picking this summer as part of a plan to attract visitors throughout the year. Another fruit farm growing grapes and apples in Kumamoto attracts about 10,000 people a year from abroad. "It is important to broadcast our existence as well as the attention we pay to the quality of our fruits," said Masaaki Maeda, head of the Kichijien farm, who pitches his business to Taiwanese travel agencies and other companies.
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