FLAVOR OF IBARAKI Top > Ibaraki's Specialty Products > Melon

Melon

Melons

Ibaraki is Japan's number one producer of melons, in terms of both production area and amount, and a number of varieties are grown here.
The 'Andes' and 'Quincy' varieties, as well as the 'Otome' and 'Takami' and Ibaraki original brand 'Ibara-king' varieties, are grown from spring to early summer, and the 'Earl's' variety is grown from summer to autumn, so you can enjoy delicious melons for around half of the year.

Main production area

Hokota / Yachiyo / Ibaraki / Kamisu / Kashima

Best time of the year to enjoy

Ibaraki's Specialty Products

Farm Product

Tables of 1 to 12(January-December)Shipment TimeHigh-volume shipment(the year's first harvest of rice)

Melon

Main Production Areas
Hokota, Yachiyo-machi, Ibaraki-machi
Shipping Period
April-October
Ibaraki prefecture is the largest producer of melon. There is a large selection of brands such as "Otome", "Andes", "Quincy", "Takami" and "Earl's", and you can enjoy these from spring through to fall. "Ibaraking", the original Ibaraki brand is popular due to its refreshing sweet flavor.

More

Grapes

Main Production Areas
Hitachiota, Ishioka
Shipping Period
July-October
We mainly grow the large variety of grapes but we've also started growing European grapes such as Muscat and Rosario, and recently our original and unique grape variety the "Hitachi Seiryu". Our fruit garden is very popular and attracts visitors from all over Japan.

Asian Pears

Main Production Areas
Chikusei, Kasumigaura, Ishioka
Shipping Period
August-October
The best season is from summer through to fall. Cultivation of our popular varieties such as "Kousui" and "Housui" covers more than 90% of our farm area, but we've also been working on the introduction of new varieties such as "Kanjyuku nashi" which are ripened on the trees and "Chozou nashi" which you can enjoy in winter.

More

Strawberry (Winter,Spring)

Main Production Areas
Hokota, Namegata, Chikusei
Shipping Period
November-May
Contain high level of Vitamin C and can be enjoyed in preserves such as jam and also in juice. Ibaraki prefecture is most famous for the "Tochiotome" brand but we also grow "Ibarakiss", which has a meaty texture and is a rich and sweet flavored variety of strawberry.

More

Chestnuts

Main Production Areas
Kasama, Kasumigaura, Ishioka
Shipping Period
September-October
Chestnuts are very popular fall-season nuts.Ibaraki prefecture is the largest producer of them and there are more than 10 different kinds of varieties.You can roast, steam, sweetened (after boiled) or paste them depending which one you use. Branding also has been becoming popular in the chestnut production, and "Kiwami", which is made by keeping them in a low temperature storage in order toimprove the sweetness, is one of the creation.

More

Koshihikari Rice

Main Production Areas
Various areas around Ibaraki
Shipping Period
All year
Ibaraki prefecture is the number one producer of of rice in the Kanto area and 3rd in Japan. This area is blessed with beautiful rivers such as Tonegawa, Kinugawa, Nakagawa and Kujigawa and a mild climate, so rice cultivation has been one of the most popular agricultural pursuits for quite some time. Each region has its own unique methods of cultivation which is highly regarded throughout Japan.

More

Lotus Root

Main Production Areas
Tsuchiura, Kasumigaura, Namegata
Shipping Period
All year
This vegetable is produced around "Kasumigaura" which is the second largest lake in Japan. This area is the first largest producer of lotus root. The hollow areas present in a lotus root supposedly represent a view into ones future and is why the lotus root is seen as a "good luck" food. The presence of Polyphenol, Mucin and Tannin in lotus root is believed to help ease the symptoms of hay fever.

Lettuce

Main Production Areas
Bando, Koga, Sakai-machi
Shipping Period
October – June
This vegetable is one of the popular ingredients in salads and is frequently used as garnish for various meat dishes. Also recently you see it in soups and pan-fried dishes. There are two different types of lettuce; the familiar round shape one, and secondly the 'leaf lettuce'.

Sweet Potato

Main Production Areas
Hokota, Hitachinaka, Namegata
Shipping Period
All year (harvested between September and November)
This is very rich in Vitamins, Potassium and Fiber. We have some brands of sweet potato such as "Beni azuma" which have a very fluffy texture and, "Benimasari" which has a higher water content and hence a more wet texture. You can grill, steam or deep-fry depending which one you use. Sweet potatoes are also used in variety baked goods and are even used in Shouchu (distilled spirits).

More

Green Peppers

Main Production Areas
Kamisu, Kashima, Hokota
Shipping Period
All year
The Kashima area in Ibaraki prefecture has a mild climate and is a well-drained area, and is perfect for the cultivation of green pepper. These are normally in season in summer but since the use of greenhouse cultivation, you can enjoy tender and delicious green peppers all year round. They are rich in Vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene.

Potherb Mustard

Main Production Areas
Hokota City,Namegata City,Ibaraki-Machi
Shipping Period
Year-round
This vegetable is very popular due to its distinctive crispiness and texture. It was originally grown in Kyoto but now Ibaraki is the number one producer. You can use it fresh in salads or you can add it to various dishes such as boiled salad and Nabe-dish (hot-pot dish). It's very rich in iron and calcium.

Tomato

Main Production Areas
Hokota City, Ibaraki-Machi,Chikusei City,Yuki City,Sakai-Machi, Bando City,Tsukubamirai City,Toride City,Ryugasaki City
Shipping Period
March - June, August - November
Tomatoes come in many varieties, sizes and colors. It adds color to cooking and dishes. The Lycopene in tomatoes dissolves in oil and is heat-resistant, so even after cooking the goodness is still present in the tomatoes.

Burdock Root

Main Production Areas
Hokota City,Namegata City, Omitama City
Shipping Period
Year-round
Burdock is well-known for its distinctive fragrance and texture. It's a fiber- rich vegetable and is known to promote intestinal health and to help reduce cholesterol. The polyphenol present in burdock root acts as an anti-oxidant and has been garnering a lot of attention in recent years.

Napa Cabbage

Main Production Areas
Yachiyo-Machi,Bando City,Tsukuba City
Shipping Period
November - May
Ibaraki prefecture is the largest producer of Napa Cabbage in Japan. During the 'Nabe-dish' (hot-pot dish) season, which runs from November to January, the Napa Cabbage from Ibaraki accounts for more than 80% of the total sold in the Tokyo Central Wholesale market. It is low in calories and rich in potassium, and is believed to prevent hypertension and remove unneeded sodium from the body.

Shiitake Mushroom

Main Production Areas
Hitachiomiya City,Kitaibaraki City
Shipping Period
Year-round
The majority of Shiitake mushrooms in Ibaraki prefecture are grown using the log cultivation method. Mushrooms grown using natural logs are often called "abalone mushrooms" because of their meatiness, rich flavor and fragrance. It's low in calories and rich in fiber and potassium.

Bok-Choy

Main Production Areas
Namegata City,Bando City,Omitama City
Shipping Period
Year-round
Since it holds its shape in cooking and has a great crispy texture, you can use this vegetable in a variety of dishes. You can also enjoy a "Bok-Choy Salad" which you can eat raw and the 'grassy smell' has been reduced through careful cultivation of this variety.

Garlic Chive

Main Production Areas
Omitama City, Ibaraki-Machi,Chikusei City
Shipping Period
Year-round
This vegetable has quite a long history as the name is mentioned in Japan's oldest historical record such as "Kojiki" and "Manyoushu". It's very rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin B, C and E. Allyl sulfide which is the source of the distinctive fragrance is believed to enhance the absorption of Vitamin B which is known to aid recovery from the fatigue.

Pumpkin

Main Production Areas
Koga City,Inashiki City,Yachiyo-Machi
Shipping Period
June - August
This is one of the more popular varieties of deeply colored vegetables. "Souwamiyako Kabocha (pumpkin)" grown in the Koga-city and "KABOCHA" grown in the Inashiki-city are well established as the leading brands and both will be harvested and shipped only when they are fully ripe, so that you can fully enjoy its fluffy texture and natural sweetness.

Green Onion

Main Production Areas
Bando City,Tsukuba City,Mito City
Shipping Period
Year-round
The distinct aroma of an onion is due to the presence of allicin, this compound stimulates circulation and warms the body. The cultivation of 'summer' spring onions is mainly done in the west part of Ibaraki prefecture. Also 'Red Poirot' and 'Hitachi Benikko' which are in red green onion varieties are becoming popular as well. (Red green onion is one of the traditional vegetables in this area.)

Black Scarlet Runner Bean

Main Production Areas
Daigo-Machi,Hitachiomiya City,Hitachioota City
Shipping Period
Year-round(Harvest time; Novermber - December)
Large black scarlet runner beans are successfully cultivaated in Ibaraki prefecture. As the name suggests, they are famous for their beautiful glossy black color and size: approximately 2cm. They contains three times more Anthocyanin, a type of polyphenol, than black soybeans.

Sweetcorn

Main Production Areas
Koga City,Yuki City,Bando City
Shipping Period
June - July
This adds a bright yellow color and sense of summer with its crispy texture and sweetness. It contains linoleic acid which is known to reduce cholesterol, sweetcorn is also a rich source of fiber. In order to have it delivered in the best possible condition to our customers, it is refrigerated immediately after it is harvested and then shipped immediately.

Marine Product

Shirasu(Baby Anchovies)

Main Production Areas
All regions
Shipping Period
May-July, September-January
These are caught mainly in spring and in fall off the coast of Ibaraki prefecture. They are usually dried and steamed during preparation, however fresh baby anchovies are also becoming popular these years.

Freshwater Clam

Main Production Areas
Hinuma
Shipping Period
Year-round
Freshwater clams are in season in summer and in winter. And the ones harvested in Hinuma area are large, with a beautiful glossy black colored shell. The meat is full-flavored and adds the Umami component.

Flounder

Main Production Areas
Whole Area
Shipping Period
May - July,September - January
One of the seasonal and very popular white fish, which you can enjoy from the late fall up to winter. It's a very delicate fish with a light and exquisite flavor, and you can serve it both as sashimi and cooked in sauces. This fish is highly regarded at Tukiji Fish Market and it's also registered as 'prefectural fish'.

Clam

Main Production Areas
Oarai-Hasaki
Shipping Period
December - March
The Sea of Kashima has vast sandy beaches stretching from Oarai to Hasaki, and the clams from this area are large and meaty. They are rich in succinic acid (Umami component), and used in classic dishes such as 'Ushiojiru (clams in clear soup)', 'Yaki Hamaguri (grilled clams)' and 'Sakamushi (steamed clams in sake)'.

Monkfish

Main Production Areas
Kitaibaraki-Oarai
Shipping Period
While blow fish is known as the fish of choice in the west of Japan, monk fish is believed to be the fish of choice in the east. The monkfish liver contains high levels of Vitamin A and the taste is believed to be equivalent to foie gras. You can enjoy delicious monkfish in various areas in the prefecture from late fall to early spring.

Freshwater Smelt

Main Production Areas
Kasumigaura-Kitaura
Shipping Period
July - December
This is one of the most popular fish in Kasumigaura-Kitaura (which is one of the lakes that makes up Lake Kasumigaura) and, alongside the famous sailing net-fishing, is a unique and recognized symbol of Kasumigaura-Kitaura. This can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as: sweetened (after boiled), dried and grilled. These have been popular local products for quite some time. You can also enjoy it deep-fried or marinating in sweet and vinegary sauce (after deep-frying).

Livestock

Hitachi Beef

Main Production Areas
All regions of Ibaraki
Shipping Period
All year
Selected farmers experienced and skilled in beef production are charged with the cultivation of this breed. Only the best quality meat is stamped with the "Hitachigyu" brand, to ensure customers only get the finest quality beef. This beef melts in the mouth and has a very delicate texture and distinctive flavor.

More

Rose Pork

Main Production Areas
Whole Area
Shipping Period
Year-round
This product is a popular brand which represents Ibaraki prefecture. The Pigs, their feed and the farmers are carefully selected to enable the production of a tender and richly flavoured meat with a moderate fat content.

Okukuji Gamecock

Main Production Areas
Daigo-Machi
Shipping Period
Year-round
This local breed of gamecock takes twice as long to raise and are given a specially-selected feed, and are reared in the beautiful setting of the Okukuji area. Its meat is quite lean and has a very rich flavor to it.

processed foods

Dried Sweet Potatoes

A food made from steamed and dried sweet potatoes. Rich in dietary fiber and potassium, and having a gentle sweet taste, this product has become popular as a healthy food product.

More

Hitachi Fall Buckwheat Noodles

"Hitachi Fall Buckwheat Noodles" are a gem born in Ibaraki. These noodles have an elegant greenish pearly color, a nice sensation when swallowed, and a strong aroma, and are a must try!

Natto

When one speaks of Ibaraki, natto always comes to mind. Natto is a traditional fermented soybean dish. It has gained attention as a high-protein, low-fat health food.