|Name of the GI||Higashine Sakuranbo, HIGASHINE CHERRY|
|Date of Protection||2017/10/20|
Higashine City and a part of adjacent town and cities, in Yamagata Prefecture
|Applicant – Name and Address||
“Higashine Fruit Kingdom” Fruits Industrial Cluster Association (Kaju Okoku Higashine Rokuji-Sangyouka Suishin Kyougikai)
1-1-1 Chuo, Higashine City, Yamagata Prefecture, 999-3795, Japan
HIGASHINE CHERRY is the fruit of the cherry tree of the Genus Cerasus of Rosaceae representing Higashine City, Yamagata Prefecture. Its main variety is Sato Nishiki, which is said to have the best appearance and taste.
Higashine City is the birthplace of Sato Nishiki, and since its beginning, a cultivation technology has been established by number of trial and error. A large fruit with a high sugar content and the good taste which strikes a balance between refreshing sweetness and just the right acidity, have earned high praise from consumers as early summer gifts.
In the cultivation of HIGASHINE CHERRY, in order to maintain quality, facilities such as rain shelters are set to prevent the fruits from splitting up, and a bird net is used on the side to protect the fruits from wild birds. This rain shelter facility was developed in Higashine City, and has contributed to the rapid expansion of Sato Nishiki; after its introduction to the cherry production, the production got stabilized. By using a reflecting sheet under the tree, coloring of the fruit is promoted. In addition, to allow more sunlight to fruits and leaves for better growth of the fruit, thinning out some fruits at budding as well as when the fruit is green, and by picking the leaves when the fruit begins to color are performed.
Although cherries were distributed and trial-produced throughout the country during the Meiji era (1868-1912), they are currently limited to several production areas. This is because cherries are items that require specific condition of weather, geographic, and soil.
Generally, the temperature difference between day and night has a positive effect on the growth of fruit trees, and increases sweetness in the fruits. Indeed, the production area of HIGASHINE CHERRY has a large temperature difference between day and night, and in June, the ripening season, the difference is measured to be about 12°C. In addition, although June overlaps with the rainy season, this production area has relatively little rainfall and the long sunshine time which also have a positive effect on the taste. The soil is well-drained gravelly as typified by the Midaregawa alluvial fan region of the Ou Mountain range, and is suitable for cultivation of cherry which prefers good drainage and breathability.
The highest grade variety, Sato Nishiki, was created in 1928, Higashine-cho in those days, by Mr. Eisuke Sato. It then grew into a representative variety of cherries by the efforts and research of stakeholders, and widespread in this area. Today, the production volume of HIGASHINE CHERRY is the largest in Japan, more than 80% of which is Sato Nishiki.