First Raiden watermelon harvest this season
Shipment of ‘Raiden watermelons’, a specialty product of the town of Kyowa in the Shiribeshi region of central Hokkaido, began on the morning of June 10. The plump, striped watermelons were loaded onto trucks under a clear blue sky before being transported to a fruit sorting facility in the town. The watermelons were subsequently auctioned at markets in Sapporo and Otaru on the 11th.
Raiden watermelons are characterized by their crispy texture and high sugar content. According to the Kyowa Agricultural Cooperative, watermelons were planted on a total of 77.1 hectares of land on 53 farms in the town this year, and approximately 500,000 are expected to be sold for a total of 605 million yen by the end of September.
In a greenhouse owned by the Kamisaka family, approximately 10 family members and part-time workers began work from around 8 a.m. The watermelons weigh approximately 6 kg each, about the same as usual, and sugar content is said to be satisfactory.
“In May, there was much rain and a shortage of sunlight, which was worrying, but they are delicious. They’re best when cooled and eaten on a hot day,” said Mr. Kamisaka, smiling.
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