• Japan In Focus

Miyazaki: Radish Tower Erected at Airport

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A daikon yagura is seen at Miyazaki Airport on Jan. 7.

MIYAZAKI — A scaffolding to dry daikon radish was recently erected at Miyazaki Airport in Miyazaki to promote a local specialty of hoshi daikon, dried radish, to make pickles.

The huge structure, called a daikon yagura, is usually constructed with bamboo and cedar wood to dry daikon. The radishes are dried in the cold wind to bring out their flavor but freezing temperatures can damage the vegetable.

Miyazaki Prefecture, which has the ideal climate for producing dried radish, is the nation’s top producer of the food. In the districts of Tano and Kiyotake in Miyazaki City in particular, the sight of fields where a number of daikon yagura are erected has been one of the winter features.

The two districts have been certified under the Japanese Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems as areas maintaining traditional agricultural culture.

The construction of daikon yagura peaks from early December to late January. Daikon become slender and soft in about two weeks before being shipped to pickling companies.

The daikon yagura that was on display at Miyazaki Airport between Jan. 6 to 14 was about 6 meters high and about 10 meters long, garnering much attention from tourists. Pickles made from locally produced daikon and tea were also sold at the venue.