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.

Aug. 18

Special feature

Summer fields filled with vivid Otofuke carrots as harvesting begins in earnest

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. There has been little rainfall this year, but the harvest is expected to be on a par with that of an average year, with fresh carrots being shipped to regions throughout Japan.
 Carrots are grown on a total of 404 hectares of land at 125 farms within the town of Otofuke. In an effort to reduce the labor intensity of producers and stabilize production, the Otofuke Agricultural Cooperative has, since 2006, contracted-out sowing and harvesting work to local construction companies.

On July 30, five specialist harvesters entered the 4.3-hectare field to extract the bright orange carrots one after another. Within an hour of being harvested, the vegetables were transported to the agricultural cooperative’s cleaning, sorting and pre-cooling facility, where they were washed with water and sorted visually by workers and special cameras according to shape and quality. After being packed in boxes, the moisture is evaporated and the carrots are cooled to the core in a vacuum pre-cooler before being shipped.

Approximately 14,000 tons of carrots are expected to be harvested this year, with 90% of them shipped to destinations outside Hokkaido, such as Okinawa, Kyushu, and Kanto. According to the agricultural cooperative, “Otofuke carrots have a strong flavor and refreshing aftertaste. We hope to maintain the high level of freshness and deliver them nationwide.”

Vivid orange carrots harvested one after another

Location

Otofuke 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 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 o...

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 ...

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