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Tangerine season in full swing in northern Okinawa

Date Posted: 2003-01-17

Tangerine season in the orchards of northern Okinawa is in full swing after officially starting last weekend. The season will continue through the end of February. Okinawan tangerines called “tankan” are famed for their sweetness and thick skins. Most of the tangerines are grown in the Izumi area in Motobu Town on the northwest side of the island. The tangerine season attracts busloads of tourists who come to pick the sweet fruit with they own hands.

“This year’s crop is smaller than last year’s because of strong typhoons we had last summer,” says Okinawa Tankan Growers’ Association Chairman Tomoharu Nohina. “However, that offset by the fact that they are exceptionally sweet as the weather just before the season has been quite cold,” he adds.

Visitors to the orchards pay the owner an average of ¥300 per kilogram. The fruit they eat while picking does not count. Many locals have made it an annual tradition to pick some fruit, and growers say everyone is welcome to join the fun.

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