Updated: March 12, 2018
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Japanese Fruits: Here Are The Main Ones

There are varieties of fruits in Japan, some of which are found only here, and others that have become known abroad as well. From the famous Fuji apple to the much more obscure yuzu lemon here's a list of typical Japanese fruits.

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Fuji Apple (ふじりんご)

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Originally, Fuji Apples were produced in Aomori prefecture, which is well known for producing many good quality apple brands. Fuji is the most popular apple brand. It preserves very well in a cool place (can stay good for over 6 months if kept in a refrigerator).

Nashi (梨): Japanese pear

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Nashi is a Japanese version of a pear. it is usually bigger than an apple and harder and more watery than western pears. The famous varieties are "Kosui" and "Hosui".

Japanese pears are sometimes used as an ingredient for Korean noodles.

Kaki (柿): Japanese persimmon

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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.

Mikan (みかん): Japanese mandarin orange

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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).

Yuzu (柚子): Japanese citrus

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Yuzu is a Japanese lemon which is often used in Japanese cuisine. Not only the flesh but also the zest is to add scent and flavor to a dish. Yuzu-kosho (yuzu-pepper paste) is also a product made by mixing yuzu zest and black pepper. Yuzu can also be made into jams like marmalade and used as an ingredient for making drinks.

There is also a tradition to bath in a bathtub with yuzu inside in winter seasons. This is because yuzu skin is believed to warm up your body. This tradition dates back to the Edo period.

Sudachi (すだち): Small Japanese citrus

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The sudachi is a type of citrus which is very small compared to the citrus fruits listed above. Sudachis are usually served with some grilled fish or matsutake mushrooms.

The fresh juice of sudachis is also made into a fruit vinegar which has a characteristic super strong citrus flavor.

Ichigo (苺): Japanese strawberry

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What's so special about Japanese strawberries? It's their quality! Pretty sure that you will be surprised by how sweet a Japanese strawberry is when you try one. The popular brands are "Aomao" (king of sweetness in Japanese), "Tochiotome", and "Akihime".

Strawberry picking is a popular activity in late winter and spring. Try it out if you're interested in fruit picking in Japan.

Kyoho (巨峰): Japanese giant grapes

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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!)

Sakuranbo (さくらんぼ): Japanese cherry

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Unlike the American cherries which have a dark pink-purple color and a strong taste, sakuranbo lighter in color and in taste. "Satonishiki" is the most well-known variety and also one of the most expensive ones.

Some cherries are pickled in sugar syrups and used as a topping of desserts and beverages.

Ume plums (梅): Japanese apricot plums

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Ume plums are basically apricots in English. And just like the apricots which are inedible because of the poison when they are unripe, ume plums can be poisonous when eaten raw and green.

Ume plums must be cooked to be edible. There are two major ways of enjoying ume plums in Japan. One way is by making them umeboshi (salt pickled ume plums) and the other is by making umeshu (Ume plum wine).
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