Parfait made with a whole peach picked in that morning. Fuefuki’s farmers bring people to Yamanashi.
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Fuefuki city in Yamanashi is the largest peach producer in Japan. Local farmers grow peaches with great care on the alluvial fan that has fertile soil with good drainage, and the quality of those peaches is incomparable. You can say that their quality is world class as not only they taste delicious but also their shapes and colors are just beautiful. Every year, a lot of people visit Fuefuki city for those peaches.
This month, we went to “Peach Cafe Nakanishi”, which has people waiting in line even before they open, and talked to them about the secret of their popularity and their future vision of their city.
The Nakanishi family
The Nakanishis are a family of peach farmers with a history of peach cultivation in Ichimiya-cho, Fuefuki city for 70 years through generations, and they have always explored better ways to grow good quality peaches. Apart from growing peaches, their business is mainly delivering their peaches to customers but they also sell them at their farm. In November 2011, they opened “Peach Cafe Nakanishi” under the concept of “a cafe that knows everything about peaches”. You can enjoy delightful peach desserts here throughout the year.
All four family members work together to disseminate the taste of their peach
At ”Peach Farm Nakanishi”, they cultivate about 30 different kinds of peaches in about 1.5ha of farmland. Their farm is not a tourist farm (where you can experience fruit picking), and they mainly deliver and ship out their peaches. They’re so confident and proud of the quality of their produce that they even used to wholesale their peaches to a well-known department store in Tokyo. But the mother Mrs. Reiko Nakanishi had this idea and they opened a cafe in 2011.
“Peach Cafe Nakanishi” is drawing a lot of attention as they have people wait in line to have their peach desserts that sell out very quickly every summer.
“Our mother has always said that she wanted to open a restaurant but everyone in the family was against it and we really didn’t expect to actually open a cafe (laughs)”, says Mr. Jun Nakanishi. When they opened the cafe, they only had customers come in occasionally so they were serving customers as they worked packaging peaches for shipment.
“But these days we see how popular it’s getting and we, the family are the ones that are most surprised.” (Mr. Jun Nakanishi)
Their cafe started getting popular due to their coverage in tourism magazines and local TV shows. Then with the power of social media, their cafe got more and more recognized and gained more fans each year.
“We always make sure to use good quality peaches for our dishes. Therefore that gives our customers high satisfaction”, says Mrs. Nakanishi.
The featured dish of their summer menu is “Uruwashi no Natsu Parfait (Beautiful Summer Parfait)” and it uses a whole peach. What’s unique and special about it is that because they’re peach farmers, they can use real fresh produce straight from the farm for their dishes. They use peaches harvested in the morning each day and they’re firm and crunchy and have an elegant sweetness. Other layers in the parfait such as peach compote and jelly are all handmade by Mrs. Nakanishi.
Decadent dessert that only peach farmers can bring out
Their menu has a variety of dishes that hero peaches such as parfait, smoothie, juice, pizza and so on.
“We only use peaches that we grow and harvest in the morning each day. Then from there, they go though a strict check run by the mother. We sort them out arguing among the family about which one is ok and which one is out. We‘re just dedicated to use delicious peaches. That’s it”, says Mrs. Nakanishi
The whole family work together to harvest peaches they grow with a great care and love. They then strictly check and select the peaches they use for their cooking. We hear that there are times when their parfait sells out even before noon.
“But in that case, the customers are willing to try our other unique dishes. Pizza, for example.”
The mother, Mrs. Nakanishi, who created the whole menu, smiles.
“When you hear pizza, it might sound strange but because our pizza is made by someone who knows everything about peaches so it surely tastes better than you imagine. We know very well what goes well with peach or what brings out the best from peach. We also have a simple dish like we cut fresh firm peaches into pieces and serve them on a plate”, says Mr. Jun Nakanishi.
“For your information, we have parfaits in our winter menu as well”, adds his brother, Mr. Ken Nakanishi.
“In autumn and winter, it’s a slow season for Fuefuki city’s tourism as it’s well known for its fruit. But in this city, there are also mountains and hot springs. In order to disseminate the charms of Fuefuki city, we provide a different menu for autumn and winter, which uses peach jam and compote.”
The peach farmers’ world-class produce and their vision for Fuefuki city’s future
Peach Farm Nakanishi has always been proactive about promoting peach and before opening their cafe, they used to sell their peaches on a radio shopping show on Nippon Broadcasting System and so on. “That’s why we have a strong notion that we have to make sure that we produce good quality fruit and dishes”, says Mrs. Nakanishi and her two sons agree with a nod.
“We strictly maintain our high standard for peaches we serve to our customers, which would probably make you go ‘why to this extent?’ But as they say ‘you must lose a fly to catch a trout’, we believe that by always thinking about customers and offering them great produce and dishes, we’re able to have them experience and realize how delicious Fuefuki city’s peaches are.”
Mr. Jun Nakanishi continues after his mother, “As long as we grow good quality peaches, we’ll be alright”. “My father and brother, who work on the farm daily, spend almost all their energy and time thinking about how they can grow better quality peaches”, says his brother, Mr. Ken Nakanishi with a laugh.
What you can discover at “Peach Cafe Nakanishi” is the true deliciousness of Fuefuki city’s peach. The experience you have here is so impressive that it would give you a memory makeover of peaches you’ve ever tasted before.
“I think our city can wow the world with its peach. If we can involve the whole city to develop as peach city, that can become our city’s brand, which leads to the future success. We’d like to contribute by gaining more fans and spreading the charms of Fuefuki city’s peach to people around the world.” (Mr. Jun Nakanishi)
＼Let's go see Nakanishi Family／
Store: Peach Cafe Nakanishi
Address: 544-1 Sueki, Ichimiya-cho, Fuefuki city
Opening hours: 10:00～17:00（Early July 〜 Late September)
11:00～17:00（October 〜 April）
Closed: Irregular schedule (early July 〜 late September)
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (October 〜 April)
Closed during May and June due to farm work