Tanigawa Tomato Laboratory

Largest producer of tomatoes in Japan

Tomatoes – Specialty of Kumamoto

In Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, Aso Gogaku (commonly known as Mt. Aso) makes up a large portion of the area. Rain on Mt. Aso is filtered as underground water, and results in clear delicious water, helping crops to grow. Kumamoto prefecture ranks highest in crop yield and has about double the harvest compared to second ranking Hokkaido.
We visited Tanigawa Tomato Laboratory located in Aso which has a magnificent natural landscape. In the cold uplands of Takamori, cherry tomatoes are grown with minimal chemicals by taking advantage of the beautiful spring water, rich organic compost, and natural enemies.

Pursuing quality that can meet different needs

Tanigawa Tomato Laboratory produces six types of cherry tomatoes. The non-domestic variety ”tomato berry” features a thick flesh and is heart shaped. It has a strong sweetness and tastes like a fruit. ”Yellow Aiko” has minimal tartness and soft flesh, making it easy for children to eat. In addition, they grow ”Red Aiko” and a breed called ”Toscana Violet”.
”When we grow tomatoes, we set the sugar content to 6 to 7 degrees and gradually increase the sugar content. Matured tomatoes with a firm hull are the most delicious.” Tanigawa told us how to distinguish delicious tomatoes.

Increasing crop yield based on theory

After graduating from Kumamoto High School, Yoichi Tanigawa, director at Tanigawa Tomato Laboratory gained experience at Kurume Agricultural Experiment Station. When he was 22 years old, he established Tanigawa Tomato Laboratory. He is a leader for local young farmers. In order to improve yield and quality, Tanigawa Tomato Laboratory takes advantage of the climate of Aso, and uses their own original compost made with grass and straw from their fields. Wanting to produce tomatoes that not only look good but have high nutritional value, he challenges himself each year. The young leader’s energetic persistence will continue.


Tanigawa Tomato Laboratory
537 Takamori, Takamori, Aso-gun, Kumamoto