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A Savory Journey: Transforming Plums into “Umeboshi” (Photos)

Wakayama grows more ume plums than any other prefecture in Japan. We traveled there to visit umeboshi maker Shōkibai and some ume growers in the town of Minabe for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the fruit is made into pickled plums.
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“Umeboshi”: The Health Secrets of Japan’s Sourest Fruity Treat

Highly salted pickled plums, or umeboshi, have been a beloved part of the Japanese diet for centuries, prized for their preservative qualities and health benefits as well as their distinctive mouth-puckering sourness and salty tang. The assertive mixture of salt and sour make them a hard taste for some to acquire, though. Younger Japanese today are also eating far fewer umeboshi than previous generations did. However, proponents are fighting back, arguing that the combination of health benefits and unique flavor make the humble umeboshi the ideal superfood for the twenty-first century.
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A Journey Along Japan’s Rivers (Photos)Ōnishi Nariaki (Photographer)

Rivers large and small crisscross the length and breadth of the Japanese archipelago, supporting ecosystems, sustaining livelihoods, and creating invigorating scenes of natural beauty. From Hokkaidō in the north to Okinawa in the south, we look at the diversity of Japan’s rivers.
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