One of Japan’s most famous fruits, a bounty of Hokkaido’s natural landscape. The melon’s soft orange flesh melts on the tongue, while the sweetness, mellow fragrance and juiciness captivate the heart.
Kyoho is a particular variety of Japanese grapes. Because kyoho grapes are simply huge, they are often called the "king of grapes". Kyoho grapes are mainly produced in Yamanashi Prefecture (also famous for good Japanese wines)
Also known as Asian pear, these popular fruits are larger and rounder than their European cousins. They contain too much water to really be good in jams or desserts, so they are usually enjoyed as gifts or eaten with guests for special occasions. Nashi pears have been cultivated by the Japanese since the late Edo Period, and are an import from China.
Yuzu grow wild in China and Tibet, but have been cultivated in Japan since the Tang Dynasty. Like lemons and limes, yuzu aren’t eaten by themselves, but make great additions to other dishes for flavor or acidity. They are also used to make vinegar, ponzu (a popular multi-purpose sauce), and tea. The skin is very aromatic, making it an ideal additive for products like soaps and perfumes.
Mikan is a fruit which is very similar to tangerine oranges. It is mainly produced in Wakayama Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture. For the Japanese people eating mikan is associated with the winter season. They eat them while relaxing in the kotatsu (a Japanese kind of heated table).
Japanese peaches are generally larger, softer and more expensive than Western peaches, and their flesh is usually white rather than yellow. Peaches are commonly eaten raw after being peeled. Japanese peaches are in season during the summer.
Ume plays a significant role in Japanese culture. While its flowering trees may play second fiddle to the sakura (cherry blossom), its fruits are enjoyed much more. In fact, many cherry trees are cultivated solely for their blossoms and do not bear fruit at all. A common way to prepare ume is by pickling it. This is called umeboshi, and is a common ingredient in bento.
While many countries in the world grow strawberries, but Japanese strawberries are especially delicious. They are usually available from Spring to Summer. There is also another variety, the white strawberry, which is considered a luxury fruit. They are highly regarded, and the white jewel and Shiroi Houseki are two of the most precious varieties of white strawberries.
Kaki, Japanese persimmon is a variety unique to Japan. It was originally produced in China but what is sold as kaki nowadays in Japan is completely different from what it originally was. The season for kaki is late autumn to early winter and people in Japan enjoy them by eating them raw and sometimes they make them dry which makes them a lot sweeter.
Shikwasa is a type of citrus fruit, similar to lime, but very juicy and rich in flavor. They are not very common on the mainland, but while visiting Okinawa, you will see many things with Shikwasa flavor.