Japanese Fruits are highly cherished by the locals, and while a lot of fruits are available these days, that wasn’t always the case.
Nowadays, you buy lots of different fruits in supermarkets and local markets, both international and local fruits. The Japanese fruits, however, are quite unique and there are many varieties that can’t be found elsewhere in the world.
Here is a list of 15 fruits in Japan that you should definitely try while visiting!
Shikwasa is a type of citrus fruit, similar to lime, but very juicy and rich in flavor. This is my personal favorite, and you can find Shikwasa on the islands of Okinawa.
They are not very common on the mainland, but while visiting Okinawa, you will see many things with Shikwasa flavor.
Nashi is also known as the Japanese Pear, and while they are quite similar to regular Western pears, the Nashi are crispier, larger with a lighter taste. They are in season from late summer to autumn and have been cultivated since pre-historical times.
Most people prefer to eat them peeled since the skin is a bit rougher than regular pears, but you can eat them either way.
Botanically it has more common with the apricot, even though it’s also known as the Japanese Plum. They grow on the plum trees and are in season from early summer.
Most people don’t eat them raw, but instead, pickle them (umeboshi) or use them for plum wine.
These dark grapes are one of the most famous Japanese fruits, and they are particularly known for their juiciness and light grape taste.
The Kyoho can grow as big as a plum, and most people eat them peeled.
A seedless citrus fruit which is famous for its sweetness. They are available from winter to early spring.
Another famous fruit in Japan. The Fuji apple is the most popular type of Japanese apples, known for having a long shelf-life and being both crispy and sweet.
The city of Hirosaki is particularly associated with the Fuji Apple today, but there are several farms in the Aomori prefecture. The Fuji Apple is generally in season almost year round, except for the summer months.
Also known as kumquat, a small fruit which looks like a small orange. You usually eat these without peeling, and the taste of Kinkan is pleasantly sour. The season for this fruit is generally from November to February.
Another popular fruit in Japan, the Kaki, also known as Persimmon. It has been cultivated here since the 7th century, and they are very common in the countryside during autumn, when they are in season.
The Kaki is usually eaten peeled and cut into pieces, but you can also eat it as it is. Kakis can also be dried and eaten like figs.
Yubari King melon (Cantaloupe)
A Japanese hybrid of two types of cantaloupe. The Yubari King melon is cultivated in Yubari, Hokkaido, and they are one of the most expensive Japanese fruits.
At an auction in 2008, two Yubari King melons sold for 2.5 million Yen, which is about 20.000 USD. Of course, not all Yubari King melons are as expensive, but they are still quite pricey.
If you have some extra money and want to taste a really good fruit in Japan, this is the one!
Another popular citrus fruit that is in season from October to January. The Mikan is the most popular type of oranges in Japan, and they are known for being easy to peel and having no seeds.
They make a great snack during the winter months!
One of the strangest Japanese fruits. The Akebi has a sweet and soft pulp, which looks similar to a white dragonfruit. They are in season from early fall and are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, protein, and folic acid.
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.
If you can afford it, you should definitely try the white strawberries. One white strawberry is sold from 10 USD and upwards.
From November to December, one can enjoy the Yuzu, a citrus fruit with a strong bitter taste. Just like a lemon, you would probably not eat these raw, but you should definitely try dishes made with Yuzu, or some sodas or other beverages.
Known locally as the Momo, the Japanese peaches are usually softer and larger than regular peaches grown in Western countries. The Momos are in season during summer, and locals usually peel them, but you can eat them as they grow as well.
They have been cultivated for more than 2000 years.
Cherries are another popular fruit in Japan, and there are many regions producing cherries. One of the most famous types of Japanese cherry is the one called Satonishiki.
These are grown in Yamagata Prefecture, which produces about 70% of all cherries in Japan.
Where to buy Japanese fruits
If you have the opportunity to visit farms directly, this is the best place to buy fruits in Japan. However, there are also some great fruit markets, usually in the main shopping districts where they sell high-quality fruits (although to a higher price).
Local fruit markets and smaller shops tend to have seasonal fruits to great prices.
Why is fruit so expensive in Japan?
Just like many other local products, high-quality is expected at all times. Locals will also rather pay more to get quality than getting lower prices and less quality, like damaged fruits etc.
Another reason for the expensive prices compared to other countries is the fact that the land area is limited and the population is large. The demand is therefore also high, which makes for higher prices.
There are also many premium fruits in Japan, which adds to the prices overall as well. However, regular fruits are fairly reasonably priced when in season, at least compared to countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, the UK, and other 1-world countries.
Have you tried any Japanese fruits? Share your favorite fruit in the comment section below!