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)
Characteristic: Large piece, Sweet
Aki Hime (章姫)
Characteristic: Large and longer in shape, Sweet, Soft, Juicy
Characteristic: It is called “Red Ruby”, Sweet & Rich in its flavor
Ama Ou (あまおう)
Characteristic: Extremely large piece/average of 40g a piece. Rich and Juicy. Its name represents “Akai/red”, “Marui/ round”, “Okii/ big”, “and Umai/ delicious"
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.
Characteristic: Large piece. Firm. They have shorter sustainability.
Saga honoka (佐賀ほのか)
Characteristic: Longer sustainability. They are produced mainly in western side of Japan. Shiny red.
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)
Cone shape. Soft.
Place: Western Japan
Characteristic: Great harmony of sweetness and sourness.
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)
Characteristic: Large piece. Sweet & Sour.
Characteristic: This brand is often used for decorating cakes because of its clean-cut shape.
Hatsukoi no Kaori（初恋のかおり）
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.
Characteristic: Relatively large in size/18g a piece in average.
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）
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)
Characteristic: This brand of strawberries is in season in Feb. The lighter the color, the better the tastes is for this kind of strawberries.
Characteristic: This is another large piece /20g in average.
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