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Strawberry, Strawberry, Strawberry!!

By Keiko H. Johnson
Staff Writer

In the past few weeks, the grocery stores have filled their shelves with packages of fresh strawberries. From their shiny red appearance, strawberries are often depicted as jewels on the field. Sweet and juicy strawberries are now in season. The strawberry brands in Japan count up to 150, and its number is continuously growing each year, while the agricultural industry in Japan has been challenging in developing the enhanced flavor of strawberries through crossing genes among brands. The harvest season of strawberries is dependent on the area; yet, it usually begins in December and ends in May. Regardless of the extensive amount of existing brands and of such relatively longer span of the harvest season, consumers seem to be given a limited amount of time to enjoy them. Listed below are the most popular brands of strawberries, which are produced and sold in Japan.

Ai Berry (あいべりー)
Place: Aichi
Characteristic: Large piece, Sweet

Aki Hime (章姫)
Place: Shizuoka
Characteristic: Large and longer in shape, Sweet, Soft, Juicy

Asuka Ruby(飛鳥ルビー)
Place: Nara
Characteristic: It is called “Red Ruby”, Sweet & Rich in its flavor

Ama Ou (あまおう)
Place: Fukuoka
Characteristic: Extremely large piece/average of 40g a piece. Rich and Juicy. Its name represents “Akai/red”, “Marui/ round”, “Okii/ big”, “and Umai/ delicious"

Echigohime (越後姫)
Place: Niigata
Characteristic: Relatively large in its size. Soft and Juicy. This brand is rare to be seen at the stores outside of the area. The harvest season ends in May.

Kentaro (健太郎)
Place: Hokkaido
Characteristic: Large piece. Firm. They have shorter sustainability.

Saga honoka (佐賀ほのか)
Place: Saga
Characteristic: Longer sustainability. They are produced mainly in western side of Japan. Shiny red.

Tochiotome (とちおとめ)
Place: Tochigi
Characteristic: Relatively small in size/ average of 15g a piece. It is called “Red Pearl” from its appearance. Relatively longer in sustainability.

Tone Hoppe (とねほっぺ)
Place: Gunma
Cone shape. Soft.

Toyonoka (とよのか)
Place: Western Japan
Characteristic: Great harmony of sweetness and sourness.

Sachinoka (さちのか)
Place: Kagawa, Nagasaki
Characteristic: It weighs in average of 10g?15g a piece. Deep Red as well as its flesh. Sweet.

Sanuki Hime (讃岐姫)
Place: Kagawa
Characteristic: Large piece. Sweet & Sour.

Place: Tochigi
Characteristic: This brand is often used for decorating cakes because of its clean-cut shape.

Hatsukoi no Kaori(初恋のかおり)
Place: Yamanashi
Characteristic: This strawberry will stay white in color. Very sweet and Juicy. This is one of the most expensive strawberries. One piece of Hatsukoi no Kaori costs 1500 yen. This strawberry is used for special occasions.

Hinoshizuku (日のしずく)
Place: Kumamoto
Characteristic: Relatively large in size/18g a piece in average.

Place: Shizuoka
Characteristic: Firm. Cross production of Sachinoka brand and Akihime brand.

Characteristic: Large in size/ 30 g a piece in average. Its name represents “One after another”.

Sakura momo Ichigo(さくらももいちご)
Place: Tokushima
Characteristic: This brand of strawberries is produced only at Samakouchi in Tokushima, and they are limited only to the area. Since it is so difficult to obtain, they are recognized as Phantom of Strawberries.

Yaoi Hime (弥生姫)
Place: Gunma
Characteristic: This brand of strawberries is in season in Feb. The lighter the color, the better the tastes is for this kind of strawberries.

Yumenoka (ゆめのか)
Place: Aichi
Characteristic: This is another large piece /20g in average.

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