Sakurajima daikon
is one of the local products of Kagoshima Prefecture
Kagoshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Kagoshima.- Geography :Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwest tip of Kyushu and includes a chain of islands stretching further to the southwest for a few hundred kilometers...

, Japan. It is the biggest daikon
Daikon , Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, also called White Radish, Japanese radish, Oriental radish, Chinese radish, lo bok and Mooli , is a mild flavoured, very large, white East Asian radish...

 variety in the world and the Guinness Book of Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

 has confirmed that. Its regular weight is about 6 kilograms although big ones can be as much as 45 kg (99.2 lb). It grows as large as 50 cm (19.7 in) in diameter. It is grown on Sakurajima
, also romanized as Sakurashima or Sakura-jima, is an active composite volcano and a former island of the same name in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyūshū, Japan...

 so it was named Sakurajima daikon. The people there also call it shimadekon (island daikon).

There are three kinds of varieties, early, middle and late, but most are the last. The seeding period is from last August to first September and the harvest season is from December to February. In order to grow it big, care needs to be taken with the volcanic ash soils.


Sakurajima daikon has a fine texture and is low in fiber. It is sweeter than the other daikon varieties. The typical cooking style is simmering such as furofuki daikon. Also as preserved foods, kiriboshi daikon and tsukemono
are Japanese pickles. They are served with rice as okazu with drinks as an otsumami , as an accompaniment to or garnish for meals, and as a course in the kaiseki portion of a Japanese tea ceremony....

are famous. The big size of tsukemono, senmaizuke is sold in souvenir shops in Kagoshima.


There are three theories about its development.
  1. The origin from hōryō daikon in Aichi Prefecture
    Aichi Prefecture
    is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

  2. The origin from original wild daikon in Sakurajima.
  3. The origin from kokubu daikon (hamanoichi daikon).

A piece of paper in 1804 about Sakurajima daikon is brought down in Kagoshima, so it is sure that has been cultured before then at least. The main production was north-west of Sakurajima but it was moved to the north later. About 1200 farm houses had about 200ha of growing area in sum total in the high season. Sakurajima daikon was one of the precious commercial crops, because Sakurajima’s fields are not good for rice cropping, so it was shipped out to Kagoshima city. Also, in every harvest season, the market called toikae (means exchange in Kagoshima dialect) was held in Kajiki (now part of Aira District
Aira District, Kagoshima
is a district located in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The current population is 11,420.-History:*April 1, 1889 - Due to the municipal status enforcement, the villages of Chōsa, Kajiki, Gamo, Mizobe, Shigetomi and Yamada were created within Aira District...

) and people traded Sakurajima daikon with straw.

However, the main crop was shifted to satsuma (mikan) from Sakurajima daikon, because the area of Sakurajima suffered big damage in the 1914 eruption, and its growing area was decreased to about 30ha in 1955. Furthermore, its growing area was decreased to about 1.5ha for frequently ash falls from then to 2001.

The main growing districts of now are the suburbs of Kagoshima city and Kirishima city. Because of fewer eruptions recently, the growing area has been extended.
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