The Golden Village of Yuzu

About Kitou

地図

The Kito Area, Naka-cho in Tokushima Prefecture

The Tibet of Shikoku, Overflowing in Abundance with Nature

The Kito Area, Naka-cho in Tokushima (formerly known as Kito Village) is located at the southern foot of Mount Tsurugi, the second tallest mountain in western Japan. Due to its abundance in nature it is known as the Tibet of Shikoku.

The 4 Seasons of the Kito Area

春
春

Spring

You can feel the breath of life in spring. The flower buds start to grow all at once, and trees are enveloped in green. In May the Yuzu flowers come into full bloom
夏

Summer

In summer, there are days whentemperatures reach up to 40 degrees. A brief evening shower relieves the heat and people gather to catch sweet fish and red-spotted masu trout. People catch the fish and skewer and grill them or bake them with handmade miso paste. Kito Yuzu Ponzucompliments fried fish very well. By the end of August the Green Yuzu are ready to be harvested.
夏
秋
秋

Autumn

Autumn in the Kito Area is the time for harvesting Yuzu. The village sparkles with gold and the fragrance of Yuzu touches everything. Everyone in the area celebrates the harvest festivals with Yuzu as the leading fruit, followed by vegetables, fruits and rice. Children ride on the Danjiri floats and the sound of drums and bells echoes through the valleys.
冬

Winter

The winter in Kito is cold enough to freeze you to your core. People warm themselves up with hot pot made from deer and wild boar meat. On New Year’s Day, a lot of families return to the Kito Area to visit their ancestral homes. This is a lively time for the Kito Area.
冬

The number one Yuzu in Japan, given birth to by Kito.

Peach and chestnut seeds take 3 years to bear fruit, and persimmons take 8 years.
Yuzu traditionally take 18 years to bear fruit.
Yuzu used to take 18 years to mature. As a reult the Yuzu market was not stable. Therefore, more than commercial use, families would grow Yuzu on their own property for their own use. Each family would plant 23 Yuzu trees. Thanks to the Kito Yuzu Research Association, the time to bear fruit was reduced to only 3-5 years. This resulted in stable production and the Yuzu grown in Kito being sold all over Japan. Thanks to the Kito Yuzu Research Association’s efforts, Kito Yuzu was the first Yuzu to be consistently distributed around Japan. Nowadays, most Yuzu in circulation are Kito Yuzu, though some are sold under other names; , Hon Yuzu or Kito-kei. In acknowledgement of the result of all efforts made, Kito Yuzu was awarded the “Asahi agricultural award” and Kito Yuzu officially became the best Yuzu in Japan in name and in substance.
From Kito to The World
Even though we have a fruitful environment we have also developed greenhouses so that we can supply Yuzu all year round.To avoid rotting, the temperature of the greenhouses is kept at 30 degrees with fans for evaporation, so that the Yuzu shrivels just a little. This technique allows the Yuzu to last longer. We established this technique for long term storability by using both high and low temperatures. Even now we use this technique as it provides a high quality of fruit. Although we mainly produce Kito Yuzu we are always researching new ways to make better Yuzu. The evaporation level is around 3-6%. To keep the Yuzu fresh for a long time the storage rooms are set at a low temperature. The raw materials of Yuzu are processed to highlight their characteristics, we cooperate with each other in the field to strengthen, organize and share information so that we can keep developing valuable products. These activities lead to the stability of the price of Yuzu and Yuzu materials. Therefore, farmers gain motivation which contributes to the revitalization of the region. It has been half a century since the Kito Yuzu Research Association was established. During this period we have been producing “top quality” Kito Yuzu by cooperating with various associations, and making full use of various techniques of development.In 1987, we held the first nationwide Yuzu summit and tried to popularize Yuzu throughout the Japan. The Kito Yuzu Research Association is adapting to the times and showing the potential of Kito Yuzu to the world by working hard every day in order to respond to the consumers’ needs to serve “the world’s best Yuzu”.

The Golden Village of Yuzu

About the Kito Area
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Kito Yuzu was born in the Kito Area, a place abundant in nature featuring the Naka River and the second highest mountain in western Japan, Mt Tsurugi, a.k.a. the Tibet of Japan.

Features of Kito Yuzu
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The Asahi Agricultural Award was given to the best Yuzu in Japan, Kito Yuzu. Most of the Yuzu trees used in Japan are Kito Yuzu trees. For many years, Kito Yuzu has been loved and sought after by high-class Japanese restaurants due to its charming rich aroma and delicious sour taste.

Our Vision
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In autumn, the village is filled with the golden color of Kito Yuzu. It’s a beautiful scene… the Tibet of Shikoku. There you can see a sky full of stars. We would like to share this beauty with the people of the world.