Mr. Kenji Hagihara is a strawberry producer from a family of farmers.
His farm is located in Nara's Obitoke district, where strawberry farming is a prosperous activity.
One of Mr. Hagihara's passions is to accept and train young aspiring farmers, and it is through his efforts in this area that he has become a leader in this young farmer community.
The Kotoka strawberries produced by Hagihara-san are especially favored by patissiers and bartenders.
They are also available for sale at various stores throughout Nara city.
Growing Nara's 'Kotoka' strawberries
The first encounter Hagihara-san had with Kotoka strawberries was shortly after he began working as a farmer.
At that time their development had just started. In comparison to other strawberries, it stood out to him that this specific species was overwhelmingly sweet, with a fine aroma.
Even though their yield is much lower than the more regularly produced variations, it became his passion to introduce these strawberries to as many people possible.
After this discovery he gradually started to grow more Kotoka strawberries at his farm.
Today approximately half of his strawberry production is focused on Kotoka. He states that he is looking to further expand his production of this 'superior' species.
Maintaining high quality
In order to provide his consumers with the most delicious Kotoka strawberries, Hagihara-san prefers to make direct deliveries by himself.
This way he can speak with his consumers and get a better view on what is actually expected of his strawberries from a consumer point of view.
On the producer side, he also makes great effort towards preserving the quality of Kotoka strawberries in general by maintaining contact with other Kotoka producers.
On a frequent basis, they come together to evaluate and share thoughts on the flavor and best practices for strawberry production.
From Nara to the world
Hagihara-san also proactively aims to promote his products domestically in Tokyo, and internationally through export to South-East Asia, for example to Cambodia.
In due course, he hopes to make Kotoka strawberries available to more people, and wishes that they visit his farm in Nara to enjoy their authentic flavour.
Simultaneously, he also cherishes and aims to grow his fan base in Nara through inviting local children to his farm to experience strawberry picking and various other activities.
It is through these varied endeavors that he works to grow the popularity of the Kotoka brand, and his international fan base.
Hagihara Strawberry Farm
Yokoi 6-596, Nara City
* Kotoka is harvested during the period from mid-December to mid-May.
* This homepage is available in several languages. In order to localize our content for international readers, the information presented may have been altered in each individual language.