The Best Environment for Shiitake Cultivation is in Central Kyushu from an area called Takachihogo.
Takachihogo is just in the middle of Oita, Miyazaki, and Kumamoto, where 70% of Shiitake production area in Japan. Shiitake here are slowly grown at a high altitude where the temperature is cool. The southernmost ski area in Japan is located close by where a large amount of snow accumulates.
The Takachihogo environment is why the Shiitake grown here has a great flavor and texture. The critical climatic factors are:
1. Minimal rainfall but much fog.
The mountainous area prevents an overabundance of rain but creates much fog, a perfect environment to provide moisture for Shiitake. Minimal rain stops the logs where the Shiitake are grown from becoming overly wet, where the mist creates a consistent but optimal minimum level of moisture. This allows for the Shiitake to grow slowly, developing the best flavor and texture.
2. High elevation with cool temperatures.
The logs area where the growth culture for Shiitake was initially grown is placed at an altitude of around 500-800 meters high. For example, at an altitude of 560 meters, an average daytime temperature of over 25℃ is rare.
Another critical factor is providing for slow growth.