Shipments of high-grade tangerines at peak in Kumamoto

Shipments of high-grade tangerines are at their peak in the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Kumamoto.

The fruit from this area is known for its sweetness. A local agricultural cooperative is marketing local tangerines under the brand "Tokimeki," which means "excitement" in Japanese.

They are covered before harvest to prevent pest damage and protect them from the cold until they fully ripen. The result is also a sweeter flavor.

Cooperative workers measure the sweetness and check quality before the fruit is shipped.

Tokimeki farmer Fukuyama Takeshi said, "There was very little rain this autumn, helping to produce high-quality tangerines."

Shipments to markets in Tokyo will continue until the end of this month.

The cooperative says the Tokimeki tangerines will be sold for about 200 yen, or about one-and-a-half dollars, a piece at retailers.