Fukushima’s “ampo-gaki” persimmons show up in Tokyo for publicity blitz

8 December 2016

Farmers from Date city, Fukushima Prefecture, began processing persimmons into “ampo-gaki” half-dried fruit -- a specialty in the northern part of the prefecture -- in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza shopping district on Dec. 7 in an effort to help restore sales of the fruit hit by the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The publicity blitz was undertaken by the city's agriculture and forestry promotion public corporation in cooperation with the Ginza Honey Bee Project, a nonprofit organization aiming for coexistence between nature and urban life through beekeeping. It followed a similar undertaking last year conducted on a trial basis. On the first day, about 20 people gathered inside the Paper & Pulp Building, peeled some 380 persimmons produced in the city’s Yanagawa district and hung them outside the building. Passers-by curiously looked up at them, saying they “look tasty” and are “beautiful.”

“I want many people to enjoy the delicious ampo-gaki,” said Satoshi Shishido, a 64-year-old farmer who took part in the event. “And I also would like people to visit Date.”

According to the Date corporation, the temperature in Ginza is higher than in Date but strong winds blowing through buildings help the fruit ripen. The Ginza persimmons are to be harvested in January.

(Translated by Kyodo News)