Japanese Fruit: In Pursuit of Sweet Perfection

Fruit in Japan can be startlingly expensive by global standards. Strongly associated with luxury and commonly given as a gift, flawless Japanese melons and other produce are becoming increasingly popular elsewhere in Asia, too.

The Enterprising Village at the Heart of the “Yuzu” Boom

At the epicenter of the yuzu boom, the tiny village of Umaji in Kōchi Prefecture is an inspiring example of a rural community that rebuilt its economy through homegrown entrepreneurship centered on a traditional local product.
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Tochigi’s Strawberries: Red Jewels for the Crown of Japanese AgricultureJulian Ryall

Tochigi, north of Tokyo, is Japan’s top producer of strawberries. Visitors to the prefecture’s farms enjoy all-you-can-eat picking tours and come away raving about the sweet, juicy berries. Tochigi is also the source of the very finest specimens of the red fruit, shipped around the country for inclusion in exquisite desserts.
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Europe Embraces the Japanese Citron: One Village’s “Yuzu” Crusade

The delicate fragrance of the yuzu, or Japanese citron, has long been prized in Japanese cuisine. Now the West is discovering the culinary possibilities of this unique citrus fruit, thanks to a Spanish celebrity chef and the tenacious efforts of a small community in Kōchi Prefecture.
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Soaking and Seasoning: The Aromatic Pleasures of “Yuzu”

The yuzu, or Japanese citron, is prized for its fragrance and is used to enhance a variety of cuisine, from sushi to sauces and sautés. The fruit is also a frequent addition to bathwater, where its warming properties and gentle scent soothe winter bathers.
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Seeking Peach Immortality in Fukushima

A Fukushima orchard has succeeded in growing peaches with almost 50% higher sugar content than the sweetest peaches on record. We visited with proprietor Furuyama Kōji, one of a group of young producers who are changing the face of agriculture in Japan.
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Japanese Muskmelons: A Cut Above the Ordinary

Whether packed in its own elegant gift box or adorning a fancy pastry, the Japanese muskmelon is fruit at its most opulent. On this muskmelon tour, visit a Tokyo fruit parlor that boasts the ultimate melon dessert and a Shizuoka grower who has dedicated his life to the art of muskmelon cultivation.
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Do I Dare to Eat a Peach? Behind Japan’s Freakish Fruit Prices

Tourists often marvel at the beauty, size, and uniformity of Japanese fruit, but they are even more astounded at its price—as much as $200 for a muskmelon at an upscale urban fruit parlor. We provide a snapshot of this unique retail market, along with a brief look at some of the cultural and economic factors that have nourished it.
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