Shikoku Islands, located in southwestern Japan, is the smallest of the country's four main islands. It is known for its unique climate and agricultural practices. Shikoku's climate is influenced by both the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountain ranges, resulting in distinct weather patterns and fertile soil that are favorable for agriculture.
One of the notable crops in Shikoku is yuzu and other Japanese citrus fruits like Sudachi and Mika’s Tangerines. Yuzu is a small, aromatic citrus fruit that is widely used in Japanese cuisine. It has a tangy , floral and spicy aroma and refreshing flavor, and its zest and juice are often used in various dishes, beverages, teas , alcoholic spirits and condiments. Shikoku's climate provides the ideal conditions for cultivating yuzu and other citrus fruits, resulting in high-quality and flavorful produce.
Fermented teas, such as awabancha and goishicha, are also prominent in Shikoku's specialty tea produce. Shikoku's climate, with its moderate temperatures and ample rainfall, is well-suited for tea cultivation. The tea plants benefit from the mountainous terrain and the fertile soil, resulting in teas with unique flavors and characteristics. The Sencha is particularly bright and citrusy, while the local pan-fired teas have a special roasted aroma unlike other Japanese teas.
The Kochi region in Shikoku is particularly renowned for its remarkable citrus and tea crops. The region's warm climate, rich soil, and abundant sunshine contribute to the production of high-quality citrus fruits, including the famous Kochi mandarins. These mandarins are known for their sweet, juicy flavor and are highly regarded both domestically and internationally. Kochi also produces exceptional teas, benefiting from the region's ideal climate and terrain. The combination of these factors makes the Kochi region an important hub for citrus and tea production, contributing to Shikoku's reputation as a prominent agricultural region in Japan.