Are you a fruit maniac?
If yes, Japan is the right place to go.
I have visited few country in my life such as Canada, USA, France, Thailand, China and few others but i never found better fruits than here in Japan. If you plan to visit the country of Japan and you go in the right season, in my opinion from May to August is the best season for fruits, you will taste some of the most tasty and delicious fruits. In order from the sum mum to the best:
- Mandarins (mikan) (ouch, too good)
Of course Japan produce much more fruits but these are the most tasty that you will remember for life. Very juicy and sweet probably because it wont travel that much from tha farm to your door compare other country like USA.
What is Ume?
Ume is a delicious fruit with the same look as the apricot often called “Japanese Plum”. If you search for the best brand, try to find the Umeboshi from Wakayama, you wont get wrong with it. The taste has a deep fruit taste, that’s why so many kids like it.
Peach (Rank #1)
The peach is in my opinion the top rank due to the amazing taste and size. Unlike the one that you find in grocery in western country with a biter taste, this one is strangely huge in size but so sweet and you can feel the quality by touching the skin. Imagine one peach cover almost your full hand, it’s impressive to see in real.
Let me show you a photo i took in my fridge, it’s not easy to see the size but you can have an idea at least
Tip: in summer, walk outside and search for a tiny truck stopped on side of the street, they probably selling peach from their farm, this is the best spot!
Mandarins (aka mikan) (Rank #2)
Ohhh, this one, you wont regret it. Actually, i wonder if it’s even possible to find such a quality anywhere else. It can’t be explained only by words. You need to touch it to understand.
It’s so famous in Japan that you can even find prices going high up to 5000 yen ($50 .usd) for only a small box! Yes, even the price you wont find such anywhere else but hey, it’s a one time try. But, at the grocery the taste is very delicious as well and you can find at lower price ranging from ¥500 yen to ¥1000 yen ($5 to $10).
Do you see the price? But it worth to try it once in your life, trust my words!
Strawberry (Rank #3)
These delicious tiny red fruit, sorry, did i say tiny? Big strawberry! Look at the size by yourself
Might be expensive but this a great value for money experience and unlike we might think, again, not a bitter taste but so sweet. (i wonder how they can grow fruits that big?)
Farms are competing for quality and quality means high prices. Have you ever heard about the “skyberry” strawberries from Tochigi Prefecture located in up north of Tokyo? Yield of strawberries is the highest among Japan’s 47 prefectures and for the best. Tochigi farmers spent 17 years to produce Skyberry strawberries. Look at this:
Cost of this beautiful one? ¥50 000 yen! $500 .usd
In case you are not that crazy about strawberry but still want to give a try, you can find at grocery at around ¥2000 to ¥6000 for a box of around 10 strawberry ($20 to $50 .usd)
Grapes (Rank #4)
Apart of the everyday fruit sold at grocery stores intended for personal consumption, there is few places selling triple A grade grapes and if you are a fan of this fruit, you will be served like a king but open your wallet, again.
For a very good quality and by this i mean tasty, not bitter, big size, colorful and a grape that has been taken care of like a baby. They are grown in perfectly weathered greenhouses and individually outfitted with hats to prevent sun burn, everything that needs to have the best ever in the world, that’s why it’s so expensive.
Prices for this luxury can go between ¥4000 yen to easily ¥30 000 yen ($40 to $300 .usd.) and you can even find at much higher price like this one from a special farm:
Price? You wont believe it but each berry are sold at ¥38,000 yen (roughly $3800 .usd) Count the whole package and there is a demand for this!
Cost? Around ¥50000 yen ($5000 .usd)
Watermelon (Rank #6)
Watermelon will bring you to the funniest shopping grocery experience. Why? Because of the shape! Look:
Yes, 1 meter watermelon size!!
Cost? You can one of these funny watermelon for around ¥20000 yen to ¥50000 yen ($200 to $500 .usd)
I tried it and i have to admit, it was sweet and tasefull. If it worth the price? Hum, it’s a one time experience for the look mostly in my opinion or if you give this as a gift to someone special, it will be a win win for sure!
Apple (rank #7)
I think apple is the one that surprised me the most. I like groceries and once i went to this beautiful shop where they were selling all the most special fruits and vegetables in Tokyo. I was hungry that day and i decided to give a try because this is not something you buy on your daily shopping. I saw this gorgeous red apple shining under the bright lightning in a small wooden box so i decided to try this one. Again, look at the size vs my hand:
Japanese convenience stores known as “konbini” normally sell apples for about ¥250 yen ($2.50 .usd). I found other shop selling at ¥100 yen each ($1.00 .usd) But if you want a higher quality for the same reason as the grapes that justify their prices, you can get a beautiful one at around ¥500 yen to ¥1000 yen ($5 to $10 .usd each)
I guess that is the only fruit i will make a so so comment. All the fruits i mentioned above are amazingly tasteful but despite of my daily crave for an apple, unfortunately, i have to say that it was really so so. I was disappointed because it is not as sweet as expected despite of the high price. It’s huge and impressive by the look i have to admit but for the taste, don’t expect too much but still not bad.
Japan is an amazing country for fruits. If you want to feel different from the usual daily grocery experience or even gift it to someone special, this is the perfect choice, don’t forget the right season, it change everything. Despite the high prices, it worth to give a try if you are a fruit lover.
Thumbs up to the Mikan!
Recommended grocery for unique fruits
Sembikiya fruit emporium
Cafe Takano Fruit (in the Tokyo suburb of Shinjuku)
Hello and thanks for the post. Very interesting. I was wondering how Japanese people grew their fruits ? They are sweeter, better, more expensive, for sure but how ? What method do they use ? Can we, as Western Americans hope to reach that level by following steps ?
Thank you for your comment,
One word, passion.
The amount of love farmer dedicated to their work is amazing.
Every single day, each details are taking care making each fruits so delicious and even the color is very bright. Unlike other big countries such as China or USA, farms are smaller and normally family business. That’s why you can see Japanese names as company title instead of corporate name.
Because of the smaller scale, the price increase but premium fruits are monitored for their quality and taste constantly. There is even yearly contest for the best quality !
It’s all about the detail and not the quantity.