“Tankan” is taste of Okinawan winter
“Tankan” is an Okinawan tangerines.
They’re relatively small, and their orange-colored skin looks a bit rough and hard to peel off. But once you try a taste of it, I believe you’ll become a big fan of its sour-and-sweet taste.
Annual Tankan ripens from January to March on Okinawa, but it is said that it will be closed soon this year because such of poor crop, and try it as soon as possible if you would like to.
It’s cultivated in many places on the island but the most famous area is Izumi, Motobu Town on Route 84.
Some orchards in Izumi put a sign on the road welcoming people to enjoy tangerine picking. But for English speakers, it might be a bit challenging to communicate well with local farmers. In this case, you want go to “Mikan no Sato” information center. It’s located on the right side of the road heading to the aquarium. It has a tall sign in front so you can’t miss it.
Arriving there, say you want to go “Mikan-gari,” meaning tangerine picking. There are always some farmers waiting for customers to escort. All you have to do is just follow the farmer’s truck to his orchard. Most orchards are located within 5 to 10 minutes distance from the information center.
At the orchard, you pay admission. It’s 300 yen for an adult and a child of elementary school age or older. Once you enter the orchard, you can pick and eat fruit as much as you want. Trees are usually cut so that most fruit are within your reach.
After you eat your fill at the orchard, it’s time to choose some as souvenirs for your family and friends or yourself. You pay ¥300 per kilogram, which is about a half of the retail price.