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Block ice production in full swing as Japan sizzles in heat wave

A Honda Reizo Co. employee moves a block of ice using a hook at the company's factory in the town of Taishi, Hyogo Prefecture. (Mainichi/Yuichi Nakagawa)=Click/tap photo for more images.

TAISHI, Hyogo -- Block ice production is in full swing at a factory in this western Japan town as a heat wave hits the country.

    The ice produced at Honda Reizo Co.'s Taishi factory is used in iced coffee and is also converted into crushed ice -- products that could help people cool down during this year's extremely hot summer.

    The company uses natural water pumped up from 100 meters below ground. Taking 24 hours to slowly freeze the water results in very clear ice. Some 500 blocks of ice ready for shipment were recently lined up in the company's ice storage house at minus 10 degrees Celsius.

    President Akiyoshi Honda, 74, said, "As hot days are continuing following the early end of the rainy season, we want people to beat the heat with cold ice."

    (Japanese original by Yuichi Nakagawa, Osaka Photo Department)

    In Photos: West Japan company churns out block ice as summer temperatures soar

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