Tomisato Watermelons Available in Markets; More Compact, Just as Sweet

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Farmers and JA staff check the quality of Tomisato Watermelons at JA Tomisato City on May 7.

TOMISATO, Chiba — Watermelon season has begun in Tomisato, Chiba Prefecture, and the fruit can now be seen in markets.

Farmers and market staff checked the quality of the city’s local specialty prior to their shipping in early May at JA Tomisato City to assess their appearance and taste.

Tomisato watermelons are graded according to their color, shape and density. The average size of watermelons this year is small because of low temperatures and unseasonable weather in March, but the fruit is as sweet as usual.

The farmers tapped the watermelons to check their density and tasted them to see which grade they fell into.

Shipments will peak in June and continue until around July. About 380,000 cases with two watermelons per case will be shipped this season. Sales are expected to reach an estimated ¥1.3 billion.