Fragrant red shiso, harvest peak in Shiranuka

Eastern Hokkaido’s town of Shiranuka entered its peak harvest period for red shiso (perilla), the leaf used to make the distilled alcoholic shiso shochu beverage by Godo Shusei (Tokyo) called “Tantakatan”.
Workers dexterously harvest the red-purple palm-sized shiso leaves, and the surrounding area is infused with a refreshing fragrance. The Farming Corporation Shikosha in the town cultivates shiso plants without using agricultural chemicals. Shiso seedlings grown inside plastic-covered greenhouse facilities were transplanted in late May to an approximately four-hectare field spreading out along the foot of Mount Tantaka, from which the shochu beverage takes its name. There, harvesting began on August 27, and will continue until mid-September. After being dried, the shiso leaves are crushed and stored.
Next year they will be delivered to the Godo Shusei Asahikawa Plant to make the shochu beverage that is loved for its shiso flavor.