Introducing the delicious apples of Tateshina-machi, Nagano Prefecture.


Introducing the delicious apples of Tateshina-machi, Nagano Prefecture.

One of the most famous fruits in Nagano Prefecture is the apple.
Apples are a specialty of the town of Tateshina, where we live.
In particular, the Gorinkubo area is famous locally for its excellent quality, and it was once used as a special gift for shareholders of a certain manufacturer in the neighborhood.

This article introduces the apples of Tateshina Town.


Birthplace of San Fuji

Apples in Tateshina are mainly Sun Fuji.

When growing apples, it is common to cover them with bags.
Bagging prevents the fruit from becoming diseased or damaged by insects.
At the same time, however, it was difficult for apples to be exposed to sunlight, which stunted their growth.

Therefore, the apple farmers in the Gorinkubo district decided not to cover the apples with bags, but to take care of the apples day and night so that the apples would get plenty of sunlight.

As a result, we succeeded in bringing out the sweetness of apples to the maximum.
That’s why Tateshina’s apples are so sweet and delicious!

This method is now used throughout Japan, and apples grown without bags are called Sun Fuji and San Tsugaru.

ふじ Fuji

It is the largest producer, and the harvest starts in November.
It is a juicy variety with a good texture and a sweetness that pervades the entire flesh.
Generally speaking, Fuji is associated with apples in Japan.
It is a variety that is easily covered with honey and has a bright appearance.

つがる Tsugaru

The second largest variety in production after Fuji.
It is harvested early, in late August. Tsugaru is probably the first apple to hit the market every year.
Although it is smaller than Fuji, it is full of sweetness and crunchy enough.

When we visited the apple orchard at the end of August, Sun Tsugaru was already available!

2020年8月31日 五輪久保地区のサンつがる

The Tsugaru variety doesn’t have that much honey.
It is important to note that more honey does not equal sweeter.
When the nectar of the apple is converted to fructose, people can perceive the apple as sweet.
But you can judge whether the Tsugaru variety is sweet or not without looking at the cross section.
You know it’s ripe when the surface has a waxed sheen and feels a little sticky to the touch.
I quickly looked and touched the Sun Tsugaru I bought, and the one that looked best was the apple in the photo.
They were so sweet and delicious!

紅玉 Kogyoku

This variety is characterized by its acidity and aroma.
It can be eaten raw, but is mainly used in baking.
It can be used to make apple pies, tarte tatin or even simple jams.
And the jam would be so good in yogurt!

Why apples in Nagano are delicious

立科町 五輪久保地区のりんご畑

All of them are delicious because the climate of Nagano Prefecture is suitable for growing apples.

As for the conditions that make apples sweet.
Cooler regions
The temperature difference between day and night is large.
Not much rain.
A lot of sunny days.
The following is a list of the most important factors.

The town of Tateshina meets all of these conditions, making it the ideal place for apple cultivation.
It is a high altitude mountainous area, so it is cool with the wind blowing and there is a temperature difference of about 15 degrees Celsius between day and night.
There is also a high rate of sunny days and little rain, so little that there is even a reservoir.
Nagano’s apples are sweet and delicious because they grow in this environment.

Preservation method

When storing apples, be careful not to lose any moisture.

It is best to store it at about 0°C to 5°C. A refrigerator is recommended as a storage place, but it has a limited capacity and you can leave it at room temperature if it is not in a warm room with heating.

Wrap the apples one by one in newspaper to prevent moisture from evaporating.
It is even better to put it in a plastic bag on it.
In addition to preventing the evaporation of water, apples themselves disperse ethylene gas (i.e., promote ripening) around them, so placing them in a plastic bag will not deteriorate the vegetables in the refrigerator.