Shipment of ‘Densuke’ watermelons begins in Tohma

Shipment of Densuke watermelons, a specialty product of Tohma, has begun. This year they are particularly large and sweet. Maruka Asahikawa Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market, Asahikawa

On June 13, shipments of the specialty high-end ‘Densuke’ watermelon began in the town of Tohma in the Kamikawa region of northern Hokkaido. Due to continued fine weather, this year’s watermelons are slightly larger than usual, and at the first auction of the season at the Asahikawa Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market, one 4L-size (9 kg) watermelon fetched 600,000 yen, the third highest price ever.

 The 600,000-yen watermelon was purchased by the Dohoku Arcs supermarket chain (Asahikawa). After the auction, the watermelon was sliced in one of the chain’s stores and served free of charge to customers. The watermelons will be sold at the Michi-no-Eki Toma roadside rest area and at supermarkets in the suburbs of Asahikawa. The Tohma Agricultural Cooperative aims to ship approximately 50,000 watermelons by mid-August.

The difference in temperatures in the Kamikawa Basin makes the watermelons sweeter, and the bright red flesh that appears when the dark green skin is cut, has a crisp texture.
 
The cultivation of Densuke watermelons began in 1984 in response to the policy of reducing rice acreage. One of the origins of the name ‘Densuke’ comes from the Japanese term meaning “help the rice paddies,” after rice farmers were forced to cultivate other crops. This year, the aim is to sell 150 million yen’s worth of ‘Densuke’ watermelons.

Location

Tohma Town

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