Satonishiki cherry harvesting in full swing in Japan's Yamagata Prefecture

Cherry farmers in the northeastern Japanese prefecture of Yamagata are busy harvesting their mainstay product of Satonishiki.

Yamagata is known as Japan's top cherry producing region with cherry orchards spanning over 3,000 hectares. The Satonishiki variety accounts for around 70 percent of the total acreage.

At Kumasaka Shota's orchard in Sagae City, harvesting began on Thursday. Around 10 workers set out to work at a little past 5:00 in the morning. They handpicked fruits with a reddish tint and put them in baskets before packaging them in boxes.

Kumasaka said due to last summer's extremely hot weather, more twin fruits have grown this year. He noted this will likely push down the yield by as much as 20 percent to roughly two tons.

Kumasaka also said he is delighted to be able to harvest cherries again this year and vowed to continue working hard to see them delivered across Japan.

The harvesting of Satonishiki will peak in the middle of June and continue through the end of the month.