Potato Germplasm Enhancement Laboratory

Obihiro Univerisity of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
West 2-11, Inada, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan


A message from Rena


Hi, I’m Rena Sanetomo.

The “Sane” of my name is written by a Chinese character “實”. It has lots of meanings; true, sincerity, to bear fruit, ripen, seeds, etc. “Tomo” is written by the character “友”, which means friends.

I love riding a motorcycle, practicing martial arts, taking photos of nature, and running a lot.

I was born and raised in Akashi City.
It is located in the south west of Japan. A big neighboring city is Kobe, known for its Kobe Beef.

Octopus in a drain

Akashi and Kobe face a beautiful sea, named “Setonaikai” (it means inside of Seto area). You can catch many kinds of fish there: Tai (red sea bream), Aji (horse mackerel), Iwashi (sardine), Anago (conger), Tachiuo (largehead hairtail), Kasago (marbled rockfish), Suzuki (see bass) and Tako (octopus), etc. Particularly, a red sea bream caught in Akashi is named "Akashi-dai" and cooked for celebration. Octopus is another famous seafood in Akashi. You can try to eat it as Sashimi, Sushi, or Akashi-yaki!

I did my undergraduate in Tottori City.
Near Tottori a beautiful sea named Nihonkai (The sea of Japan). We used to skip class and go to diving there. The sea was very clear and filled with lots of fish hiding behind rocky stretches. We would catch fish by stabbing with a small spear, and then prepare them as Sashimi or cook them as Tempura. They tasted amazing! They were so fresh! The oysters were also very nice, although they weren't allowed to be harvested, but, you could buy them. If you go, don’t forget to try the fresh calamari as well!

I have a deep love for the sea, as well as the mountains.
Japan is surrounded by the sea, and has a lot of great mountains. Mountains are the source of water for Japanese. We are able to get clear water every day through many beautiful rivers. We can also make paddy rice fields. So, I am grateful for nature's blessings of this sort everyday. By the way, you will see lots of steep hills in Japan for that reason. I don't think bicycle riding is easy and safe in Japan except Hokkaido.

Hokkaido is the Northern Island in Japan.
The environment is very different from that of Main Island. There is a huge flat area especially in Tokachi Plains. I have been in Tokachi since 2010, because it is the largest potato production area in Japan. We did a lot of work there.

Winter in TokachiThe winter in Tokachi is very cold. It is about minus 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. But you can experience a brilliant winter there. The air is very clear and sharp. There is no sound in your ears, and no clouds in the sky. You will stand in a completely silent snow world. Then you can start to notice tiny footprints. They were made by a north fox or an Ezo deer. Most of animals or plants endemic in Hokkaido are named with a prefix “Ezo”. “Ezo” is an old appellation of Hokkaido in Edo (Samurai) period. This is home for many kinds of wildlife; some of them are quite rare. Of course, you can also enjoy the summer there. Plenty of flowers and greens meet you, especially colorful potato flowers.

Summer in Tokachi

We are working in a well-equipped laboratory for molecular works, or in a sunny greenhouse for crossing and breeding activities!!

We welcome your visit to our Lab anytime!!

With warm wishes,