KOBE — Tomato vending machines at a commercial facility and a train station in this west Japan city have become so popular that people apparently line up for the fresh products refilled three times a week.
The “Kobe Sweets Tomato” variety is grown at Rokko Farm in the city’s Kita Ward. The vending machines are set up at Kobe Electric Railway Co.’s Suzurandai Station in Kita Ward and the BB Plaza shopping mall in the city’s Nada Ward.
Behind these popular tomatoes is Nada Ward-based Shimabun Corp., which recycles iron scrap and processes steel stock. The company entered the tomato cultivation business in 2018. By inviting an agricultural consultant from Shimane Prefecture in western Japan, it has made strong efforts to create tomatoes that have a high sugar content.
“We’ve learned to grow sweet tomatoes by trial and error. We want as many people as possible to eat them.”
“We’ve learned to grow sweet tomatoes by trial and error. We want as many people as possible to eat them.”Masaki Sakata (Shimabun Corp.’s company representative)