The banpeiyu is one of the world’s largest citrus fruits. At this point in time, farms in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture, are busy sending the fruits nationwide as it is its peak shipping season.
The local specialty is a type of pomelo, a member of the mandarin orange family, and each citrus weighs about 2 kilograms.
In Yatsushiro, banpeiyu are grown in greenhouses and are picked starting in mid-November. The fruits are harvested while they are still green and then stored in greenhouses for about two weeks to allow them to yellow and become sweeter. After the fruits have ripened, most are sent to markets in Kyushu, but some are sent to the Kanto region, where they are generally sold as gifts.