Are you a fruit fan? As much as we’re into snacking on Japanese fruits at the TokyoTreat office - some Japanese fruits can be so expensive! If you remember in Doraemon, Suneo likes to brag that he has eaten melon. No wonder, because a melon in Japan can often be sold for around 15,000 Yen (around $150 USD)! ∑(O_O;).
The often high price of the fruits that are sold in Japanese supermarkets are usually in relation to their ultra-high quality. These “luxury fruits” are flawless in appearance and taste! Also, only 12% of the land in Japan can be used for farming, meaning domestically-grown fruit is pretty rare. Feeling fruity yet? Let’s break down our five favorite Japanese fruits you have got to try!
1. Hatsukoi no Kaori Ichigo (White Strawberry)
The name of these beautiful Japanese strawberries means scent of first love in Japanese! This is the newest of Japan’s strawberry fruit varieties and has quickly become one of the most expensive and sought after strawberries in the world. One white strawberry can be sold for over $10USD! While they are a striking white in appearance, the flavor is comparable to a regular red strawberry.
You can get all sorts of Japanese strawberry snacks here!
2. Mikan (Tangerine)
Mikan are probably the most popular type of oranges in Japan! Mikan are well known for being easy to peel, and they don't have seeds! Mikan are a pretty popular snack during the winter months here in Japan, because they’re harvested and sold around the winter season (October to January).
Try out some mikan flavored Japanese candy here!
3. Ume (Japanese Plum)
While ume is commonly described as a Japanese plum, it’s actually an apricot! The trees that ume grow on are gorgeous - and very popular in Japan, though they kind of play second fiddle to the sakura (cherry blossom). You wouldn’t want to eat ume raw, but instead, pickle them (umeboshi) to be used most commonly in onigiri, or used for plum wine (umeshu).
Try some tart ume snacks here!
4. Yuzu (Japanese Citrus)
Yuzu has become quite popular abroad for it’s more floral, lemon-like flavor! Most commonly, yuzu juice is utilized for a variety of products! In Japan, you can find many Japanese soda and beverages with yuzu flavor, as well as sauces and condiments like ponzu, which is essentially a soy sauce flavored with yuzu juice. It also can be used to make vinegar and tea! Yuzu peel is very aromatic, so you can even find some toiletries, lotions and perfumes with yuzu scent!
You can sample some fresh Japanese yuzu candy here!
5. Kaki (Japanese Persimmon)
This deep-orange and pleasantly round fruit can be eaten raw or dried, like apricots and figs. It’s found fresh in the fall and winter seasons, so it’s a popular snack in Japan during those seasons! Unripened kaki can even be used as a bug repellent!
Which designer Japanese fruit do you want to try the most? Would you be willing to pay 10 bucks for a strawberry? (We might!)