Taste of summer

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Farmers load a truck with freshly picked watermelons in the Hokkaido town of Kyowa on Monday. The large Raiden-brand watermelons, which are sweet with a crispness when bitten into, are named after the scenic Raiden coast facing the Sea of Japan. “The temperatures were low in May and June, but the fruits grew well and are packed with sweetness,” said Susumu Kamisaka, 44, who had just cut the watermelons from vines in his greenhouse. The Raiden watermelons are produced by 55 farming households in the town, and the Japan Agriculture cooperative’s Kyowa branch said it expects to ship 510,000 watermelons (3,050 tons) through September.