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Dekopon Country in Aso Kumamoto

Tangarine orchards and a roadside farmers market

In the plain country towards Mount Aso, there are orchards filled with the fragrance of Dekopon, the ugly duckling of the mandarin and tangerine family. If you overlook the large protruding bump on the top of the fruit that reminds me of grandmother’s hair knot, you would be surprised by the sweet citrus taste, one that is perfectly captured in Dekopon Gelato on a warm summer’s day from the Farmers’ markets. Strolling around and picking up some wasabi herbs or Persimmon trees is a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

Also lurking in the fields is a large rotund bear with red cheeks that answers to the name, “Kumamon”, or maybe the people at Kumamoto Tourism would like you believe. He is more likely to be found decorating wrapping paper for sweets and souvenirs at the market stalls.

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