Kikuchi Suiden Gobo

Kikuchi Suiden Gobo

Registration Number 74
Name of the GI Kikuchi Suiden Gobo
Class Vegetables/
Cereal grains/Pulses
Date of Protection 2019/03/20
Producing Area Kumamoto Prefecture
Kikuchi City, Koshi City, Ozu Town and Kikuyo Town in Kikuchi County
Applicant – Name and Address

Kikuchi Area Agricultural Cooperative

1875 Kyokushikawabe, Kikuchi City, Kumamoto Prefecture

Producing Area

Kikuchi Suiden Gobo is burdock root cultivated in paddy fields.
 In addition to its whiter-colored skin and less bent shape compared to common burdock root, Kikuchi Suiden Gobo is characterized by softer texture and less harsh flavor, which means that there is no need to remove the harshness when cooking.
 Kikuchi Suiden Gobo is highly recognized by market for its long shipping period, as well as its stable quality and quantity maintained throughout that period.

An early maturing variety of burdock, which has been selected by the producers' group on the basis of test growing in the area, is cultivated in paddy fields for the production of Kikuchi Suiden Gobo.
 Prior to sowing, producers apply mature compost to the paddy field and deeply plow the soil by using a trencher (1) or another machine.
 After harvest, the burdock roots are cleared of any dirt and fibrous roots, following which they are exposed to running water to remove the harshness.
 The shipping standards require that the burdock roots are 20 cm or longer in length without any significant level of raw wounds, disease, and pest damage or other damage.

The producing area of Kikuchi Suiden Gobo is located in the northeast region of Kumamoto Prefecture, a geographically blessed area with rich water sources required for burdock production, including Kikuchi Suigen (2), which has been selected as one of the selected 100 exquisite and well-Conserved waters in Japan(3), as well as a lot of rivers that surround the area. At the same time, cattle farming thrives in the surrounding area and producers have plowed mature compost into their paddy fields to supplement the soil.
 In traditional burdock cultivation, farmers in the area experienced adverse consequences of continuous cropping. As a countermeasure, farmers started to grow burdock as an off-season crop of rice in the post-harvest rice paddy fields, and this not only solved the problems of continuous cropping, but also produced burdock roots with less bent shape and a soft texture.

Farmers subsequently adopted the process of rinsing harvested burdocks roots and removing harshness in 1967, and selected the cultivar that continues to be used today in 1970. Full-scale shipments to the Tokyo metropolitan area began in 1982. Kikuchi Suiden Gobo has become recognized by consumers as a burdock root with soft texture, fragrant aroma, white skin and being prepared easily for cooking.

  1. Trencher: A type of trench digging machine used in farming to dig relatively narrow and deep trenches.
  2. Kikuchi Suigen: A tourist site with variously sized riffles, pools and waterfalls, including the Kikuchi Gorge, which originates in the northwestern part of the Aso somma located in northern Kumamoto Prefecture.
  3. Selected 100 exquisite and well-Conserved waters: A list of 100 springs, rivers (waters for human use), and groundwaters across the country selected by the Environmental Agency (current Ministry of the Environment) in March 1985 as the "best waters" in Japan.

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Delivering the Charm of Japan’s Traditional Specialty Products