Nagano: Cow milking, soft serve feature at ranch festival

NAGAWA, Nagano — A farm in the town of Nagawa, Nagano Prefecture, held its annual ranch festival at the end of October.

Visitors to Nagato Dairy Farm fed cows, rode tractors and ate half-priced soft serve, just as in past festivals. This year, the farm also held a milk-drinking contest, and offered the chance to milk a cow replica and taste strawberry and apricot-flavored drinkable yogurts.

The farm recently created a caramel-flavored soft serve, which was on a trial run at the festival and also available at half price. The flavor was popular among farm staff during testing and may become an official farm product depending on customer feedback.

The festival, held Oct. 29-30, was met with fine weather on its first day, which saw crowds of families visit from within and outside the prefecture.

“The relaxation of COVID restrictions has helped boost the number of visitors this year, but it still hasn’t fully returned to the peak level,” President Kuniyoshi Takeuchi said. “We’ll work to develop new products and attract tourists,” he added.