The mango season is here!
Since 2011, Nakagawa has started cultivating mangoes in the cold Tokachi region of Japan's most northerly island. He can charge up to $230 for each one.
He never imagined that a sustainable farming experiment would one day produce the most expensive mangoes in the entire world.
The 62-year-old Nakagawa, who formerly oversaw a petroleum company, said that at initially, "no one took me seriously."
"I wanted to make something natural out of nature from here in Hokkaido." After working for years in the oil industry, where rising prices persuaded him that there was a need to go beyond fossil fuels, Nakagawa made the switch to mango farming.
Nakagawa established his business after being instructed to do so by a different mango farmer from the southern prefecture of Miyazaki, who asserted that it was possible to cultivate the fruit throughout the Winter.
After a few years, he registered his mango brand as Hakugin no Taiyo, which means "Sun in the Snow." Utilising the two natural resources that make his native Hokkaido famous – snow and onsen hot springs – is Nakagawa's secret.
In order to fool the fruits into postponing blossoming, he stores snow from the winter and utilises it to cool his greenhouses in the summer.
Then, in the winter, he heats the greenhouse with natural hot springs so he can collect about 5,000 mangoes out of season. The method avoids the need for pesticides by allowing mangoes to ripen in the cooler months when fewer insects are present.
Hokkaido's low-humidity climate also reduces the need for mold-removing chemicals. Plus, harvesting in the winter"-when farmers have less work"-allows better access to labour at a time when Japan faces a worker shortage, particularly in rural areas.