The Yomiuri Shimbun
17:39 JST, September 26, 2021
Farmers are busy harvesting glossy sweet chestnuts in the northern area of the Hanshinkan region in Hyogo Prefecture, a local specialty that represents the flavor of autumn in the area.
Shigekazu Kono, 71, in Kawanishi tends more than 300 sweet chestnut trees in a mountain forest covering about one hectare. His main crop is a luxury variety named Ginyose, known as the king of sweet chestnuts for its large, highly sweet nuts.
Chestnuts could recently be seen inside shells strewn on the ground, their surface glossy against a background of greenery.
Four members of Kono’s family work hard to pick up the chestnuts, and ship them to the JA Hyogo Rokko agricultural cooperative. They also deliver chestnuts to produce stands in the Hanshinkan region.
Harvesting continues through early October, with the morning and evening temperatures dropping day by day.
Kono said, “This year especially had a lot of rainy days, so the forests have been wet enough and [the sweet chestnuts] have grown well. Kuri chips, which are fried slices of sweet chestnut, are also delicious.”
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