Japan is the country of many great innovations and developments. It is needless to say that this urge to create did not stop simply with mechanics or electronics but has penetrated all aspects of life. Taking nature to the next level, Japanese farmers, artists and craftsmen have shaped the fruit we know and elevated them to perfection.
Nothing speaks more of summer than the rich juicy taste of watermelon, cherries or strawberries. It is the taste of happy childhood memories, the flavour of love and the feeling of sun on your skin. Fruit is also fragile and needs good conditions to unfold its true potential. A cloudy and rainy spring or summer can destroy the hard work of farmers and make fresh fruit a a scarce commodity. Thus, making sure that their plants are safe and grow in a stable environment is the highest priority for fruit farmers. Their love and hard work is embedded into the flesh of their crops and became a symbol of appreciation in Japan.
Nowadays, fruit are popular gifts for special occasions in Japan such as birthdays, weddings or anniversaries. Exchanging gifts and bringing each other joy became an important ritual in Japan and fruit that especially grown for this purpose is considered a luxury. Popular not only among locals but also tourists, Japanese fruit has become internationally famous for its rich sweetness, extravagant shapes and grand size. Let us introduce some of the very best fruit available in Japan:
Juicy grapes the size of a ping-pong ball
You might think of grapes as something ordinary but Japanese fruit farmers have spent decades in growing sweeter and bigger varieties that will melt in your mouth.
One of these is the renowned Kyoho grape which is commonly referred to as “The King of Grapes”. They stand out for their large size (one berry weights up to 12 to 14 g) and dark purple nearly black skin. The skin slips of easily and is usually not eaten as it is the rich sweet flesh with its sophisticated sweetness that is the true delicacy. As the seeds can be quite bitter in comparison to the rich flavour of the flesh, seedless breeds have become the standard in recent years, showing once more the talent and drive to create the perfect crop to satisfy the customers.
Yamanashi Prefecture is home to this unique grapes and known as the “Kingdom of Fruits”. Even the name of the prefecture refers to its juicy heritage meaning “mountain pear”. It provides a splendid environment for the cultivation of fruits as it is Japan’s area with the longest hours of sunshine.
Another popular variety is the even more luxurious Ruby Roman grape. They grow up to the size of a ping-pong ball weighting around 20g each and containing at least 18% sugar. Besides their size, their signature characteristic is a rich red colour that resembles a ruby gemstone.
Highly limited melons from Japan's North
Watermelons have a very special place in the heart of Japanese people and Japanese melon varieties show the extraordinary talent and care of Japanese fruit farmers at its fullest potential. From luxurious honey melons to black or square watermelons, Japan has groomed melon varieties to perfection and elevated their taste and appearance.
Square watermelons went viral when they were discovered by an international audience. To achieve their unique shape they are grown in special cubes. As they are sold unripe, they are not meant for consumption but make a very decorative piece and interesting souvenir.
Another melon highlight are the “Densuke” Black Watermelons. They are only grown in Hokkaido and their number is highly limited making them very rare. Their skin is very dark and their sugar content is way above that of regular watermelons.
Yubari King Melon is another gem from Hokkaido. They are grown around the city of Yubari that is attracting visitors from around the globe to taste the sweet cantaloupe melon. Each plant only bare one fruit and they are carefully cultivated under perfect conditions in greenhouses (even wearing little hats to prevent sunburns).
The Strawberry Innovation
Strawberries have gained enormous popularity all around Japan and are nearly available year-round since the majority is grown in greenhouses. However, Japan would be the country of innovation if they wouldn’t take even such an already commonly beloved fruit to the next level. Proving Japanese dedication and craftsmanship once again, white strawberries are one of the newest Japanese creations originating from the early years of this decade.
Symbolizing the incarnation of luxury in Japan, the largest strawberries are sold individually and presented like a diamond ring in its own box. For a reason the most exclusive variety of white strawberries has been nicknamed the “White Jewel”. The large examples are white on the inside and outside and their succulent sweetness exceeds their red siblings.
Japan’s high-quality fruit is only seasonally available and highly limited. Contact GOYOH through MyNinja to reserve your take on the next batch of Japan’s most delicious and luxurious gifts.