At the Komaba Festival at the University of Tokyo's Komaba campus in late November 2017, a line of people at a mandarin tasting event sponsored by the university's Mikan Fan Club extended out into the corridor. Students explained the origins of different varieties of "mikan," as the fruit is known in Japanese, and their various taste characteristics. Participants tried six different types of mandarin and then tried to guess the variety.
Among the participants was a group of four women in their 40s and 50s. "I think this is a Mie Prefecture mandarin," "This is sweet, isn't it?" the women remarked as they eagerly sampled the fruit. In the past, they said, they used to buy mandarins by the box, but now they just buy nets containing only a few mandarins each. There are various reasons for this.