Hokkaido’s Harvest Scenery: Autumn Edition

Hokkaido is known as Japan's food base, and is a treasure trove of a wide variety of foods, such as agricultural and livestock products, seafood, wine, sake and beer.
Autumn – from September to November – is the harvest season for fruits, potatoes and other root vegetables, rice, buckwheat and the like. It is also when marine products such as salmon and Pacific saury are landed.
We have gathered together some ‘taste of autumn’ harvest scenery, much anticipated by the people of Hokkaido.

Sep. 24

Special feature

Harvesting of ‘highest quality’ Kamifurano hops reaches peak

The vines that bear cone-shaped hops in Mr. Osumi’s fields

The harvesting of the cone-shaped flowers of hops, which are used to make beer, is reaching its peak in the town of Kamifurano in northern Hokkaido. The hops grow on vines that extend to a height of approximately 5.5 meters and hang like green curtains from ropes at the farm, where the air is filled with a refreshing scent peculiar to beer.

Hops are a perennial plant of the Cannabaceae family and are one of the ingredients that determine the flavor and aroma of beer. At Osumi’s farm, four varieties including the ‘Furano Special’ variety – which can be used raw without being dried – are grown, and harvesting began on August 18. The Furano Special variety was harvested on August 31st, using a machine to remove the pine-cone-shaped hops from the vine and sort them before packing into bags for shipping.

The size of the hops and the amount harvested are both said to be smaller than usual due to the high temperatures and lack of rain in June and July this year but, even so, Mr. Osumi smiled as he said “I’m glad I was able to harvest them without experiencing any problems or diseases; they are of the highest quality.”

According to the Sapporo Breweries Hokkaido Ingredients Research Group, the hops were cultivated on a total of 4.8 hectares of land at four farms in the town, including that of Mr. Osumi. In the 1960s, approximately 100 farms in the Furano region produced hops, but the number is said to have decreased due to mechanization.

The sorting of the cones takes place amid a refreshing aroma of hops

Location

Kamifurano Town

Special feature

Autumn Hokkai shrimp fishing began on October 25 in Notsuke Bay in the town of Betsukai in the Nemuro region, with 23 ‘Utasebune’ boats belonging to the Notsuke Fisheries Cooperative leaving the po...

The seasonal ban on autumn mantis-shrimp fishing was lifted along the coast of the city of Otaru in central Hokkaido, and the first auction was held at the Otaru City Fisheries Cooperative Regional...

‘Rice-paddy art’ is a huge picture created using six types of colored rice plants, with the rice paddy as a canvas. Members of the executive committee, made up of individuals from the Young Farmer...

A blue and orange mosaic appeared in a field in the Kitami region, which boasts the largest onion production quantity in Japan. The color layout of that mosaic in the shape of a perfect square look...

On September 28, the harvest of ‘La La Shine’ Shine Muscat grapes – a luxury table variety that has become a new specialty-product brand of the town of Niki in the Shiribeshi region of central Hokk...

The harvesting of rice has begun in earnest in the town of Tobetsu in the Ishikari region of central Hokkaido, where rice production thrives. Due to the continuous intense heat of the summer this y...

The work of thinning-down the ‘Yamasachi’ vines – developed especially for wine-making – is reaching its peak in the vineyards of Chiyoda in the town of Ikeda in the Tokachi region of eastern Hokka...

The first attempt at producing orange wine has begun at the Infeeld Winery in the Tanno-cho district of the city of Kitami in the Okhotsk region of eastern Hokkaido.

The autumn salmon fishing season has begun on the Pacific coast in eastern Hokkaido and, on September 1, the first catch of 3.6 tons was landed at the Taiki fishing port in the town of Taiki on the...

This year’s potato harvest is reaching its peak in Hokkaido’s potato-producing region in the city of Obihiro. Due to the hot temperatures and lack of rain in July, the potatoes are smaller than usu...

The Matsumae Kagura (sacred Shinto dance), which is a designated important intangible folk-cultural property of Japan, was held in a buckwheat field in Sengen in the town of Fukushima in the Oshima...

The ban on large-scale fishing vessels (at least 100 tons), which are the mainstay of Pacific-saury net fishing in eastern Hokkaido, was lifted on August 20. Despite the forecast of low numbers of ...

The harvesting of carrots has begun in earnest in the town of Otofuke in the Tokachi region of eastern Hokkaido, which boasts the most prolific production in Hokkaido.

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