Jan 19, 2017

A Wonderland of Fruits

I had heard many things about Japan before I came here. Some turned out to be myths that busted later when I started living here but fruit being costly is as true as sun rising in the East.When I came to Japan for the first time, I was seriously shocked with the prices of fruits labelled in grocery stores. I questioned myself will I ever buy fruits in Japan? Well the gift wrapped fruits was something I would not buy for sure. But how could anyone say No to regular fruits? After all A-Z vitamins are richly packed in fruits. One possible reason for fruits being so expensive is because they are literally flawless and beautiful. You will first enjoy the fruits with your eyes (as they are very appealing) well in advance your tongue gets the taste of it.I am not aware what exactly are the standards for the fruits entering the market but they are "Absolutely Perfect- No Blemish, No Bruises". Just like a catchy tag line for a beauty cream.You can also already tell that they are extremely juicy just with their appearance. The other possible reason could be the high maintenance in orchards where each and every fruit grown for commercial purpose is handled with such a care. Lucky fruits, right? That definitely make the fruits desirable.Once you try fruits in Japan you will hardly regret for paying the price. Paying for fruits in Japan is certainly worthy. I may sound biased if I choose one fruit over the other fruits because all of them are equally competent taste and looks wise. However, if I am asked to pick my top three they will be Persimmon, Cherry and Apple.

1. Persimmon ( Khaki in Japanese)- I had never been such a big fan of Persimmon until I tried this in Japan. Persimmon is an autumn fruit. It is highly available in supermarkets during October- November. I appreciate the taste of this fruit very much for its fleshy texture and sweet taste with a not too strong aroma. The color of the fruit is bright orange and can easily draw your attention from among its other fruit counterparts in display. What I also enjoy about persimmon is the beautiful trees of persimmon all heavily loaded with ripe bright fruits. These trees look very attractive because during autumn the trees already shed their leaves and it is just the fruits in the branches. Persimmon is a resilient fruit also called as brave fruit in Japan because they can stay up in tree until the winter begins. I sometimes see some fruits in these trees even when it starts to snow. They can stand the toughest of the weather. Traditional way of consuming persimmon fruit is these fruits undergo some alcohol treatment. Some varieties of persimmon is dipped in alcohol to remove the astringent nature of the fruit. Persimmons are also dried to be consumed as dry fruits.

A Wonderland of Fruits photo

2. Cherry ( Sakuranbo in Japanese)- The cherry trees look very similar to the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) trees; however it is not the Sakura trees that grow Cherries. Cherry is a very popular fruit in Japan and one of my favorites. This little fruit is ready to eat in the summers around May-July. Cherries are good to be eaten directly from stores but every year bunch of my friends love to go cherry picking in the orchard In Niigata. This is a very unique experience because you pay for the time and during that limited time you can pick and eat cherry directly from the trees; as much as you can. Nothing beats picking and eating these fresh little ones directly from the trees. As a perk, you will get to bring home a small box of cherry with you. If some one from family could not join this experience they can still enjoy the cherries at home. I have been going cherry picking every summers in Japan. Posing for pictures while eating makes beautiful memories.

A Wonderland of Fruits photo

3. Apple ( Ringo in Japanese) - Apples in Japan are no wonder the best. However, the challenge for beginners in Japan is to be able to pick a type of apple from so many different varieties. You will see apple in different sizes and colors ( red, green, golden yellow). Even in a color there are several shades of apple displayed in the stores that make the selection tough. But, anything you pick you will end up with a crisp, juicy, sweet one. What I find unusual in Japan is people peel the fruits skin and this applies for apples as well. I asked my sensei why so? She mentioned it is because fruits are sprayed on orchards so peeling makes them safer to eat, plus peeling makes them sweeter. Well, in most parts of the world they are eaten with skin on and I used to do the same; just wash and take a bite. That way it is believed we get more vitamins but now that I know- I have started peeling off skin. Health is a priority and yes sensei was so right peeling makes the sweet even sweeter.

A Wonderland of Fruits photo



I am Babina Kharel living in Niigata, Japan. I come originally from Nepal but I am a permanent resident of Canada. I am currently living in Japan with my wonderful husband.


  • DaveJpn

    on Jan 20

    Yes. I'd never tried persimmon until coming to Japan. I'm not sure you can even get them where I come from. They're super sweet and pretty cheap by Japan's standards. I find the apples to really huge here. I'd rather they be smaller, and in a bag of 5 or 6.

  • Babina

    on Jan 23

    @DaveJpn True Persimmon are cheaper compared to other fruits even though it is seasonal.