Giant pumpkins entered in contest in Western Japan

An annual competition featuring dozens of giant pumpkins harvested from across Japan was held on Shodoshima Island, western Japan.

The 37th giant pumpkin contest was held in the town of Tonosho in Kagawa Prefecture on Sunday.

Forty-six pumpkins were brought in from Kagawa Prefecture and other prefectures including Yamanashi and Nagano.

Some of them were so big they needed to be carried and put on a weigh scale by a forklift.

A pumpkin weighing 505.7 kilograms with a circumference of 419 centimeters won first prize.

The biggest pumpkin was produced by Hashimoto Dai from Minami Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture.

Hashimoto participated in the event eight times previously with pumpkins he produced. It was the first time that one of his pumpkins was chosen as the heaviest.

The winner said that he controlled watering carefully to prevent this year's higher temperatures from rotting plants.

Hashimoto can now take part in an international giant pumpkin contest scheduled for October on the US west coast.

An official of the town which organizes the event, Hasuike Mikio, said that he will promote efforts to spread information about the local culture using the pumpkins.