Published By: Puja Sinha

Japan's juicy exotics: 7 fruits you must taste!

Prepare to embark on a fruity escapade through Japan's vibrant orchards!

When you visit someone's home in Japan or India, it's a thoughtful gesture to bring along a gift like fruits or sweets. In Japan, opting for exotic fruits is a way to show appreciation and hospitality. These special fruits are not just about taste—they're a symbol of sharing joy and creating memorable moments together. Here's a glimpse into the charm of these unique "designer" fruits that bring smiles and warmth wherever they go.

Square Watermelons 

In the late 1970s, Tomoyuki Ono from Kagawa Prefecture, Japan, invented square watermelons for easier stacking and storage. They're grown in square boxes from small sizes, taking the box's shape as they grow. Mainly used for decoration by retailers, these melons are harvested unripe, which prevents easy rotting and allows for prolonged display. Despite their hefty price tag of up to 100 USD each, they're not known for their flavour and are rarely consumed.


Ever heard of yuzu? It's this awesome citrus fruit from Japan that's like a small grapefruit but packs a tangy punch, kind of like a mix of lemon and mandarin orange. You can spot it by its uneven yellow or green skin, which smells amazing—super citrusy with hints of sweetness and bitterness. Japanese people love using yuzu for juices, jams, and seasoning dishes, and they even toss its aromatic rind into hot baths for health benefits. There are different types too, like decorative Hana yuzu, sweet Yuko, and the famous knobby-skinned Shishi yuzu.

White Strawberries 

These white strawberries, like the "Shiroi Houseki" created by farmer Yasuhito Teshima from Saga prefecture, are a unique delight, costing around 10 USD each! Unlike square watermelons, they taste just as sweet as their red counterparts. These berries are white both inside and out due to minimal light exposure during growth, which prevents the development of red pigmentation. Introduced in 2012, they're also known as "white gems" and have since inspired other varieties.

Miyazaki Mangoes 

If you've tried mangoes in Japan and found them lacking in sweetness, you might've missed out on the Miyazaki red-skinned mangoes—known as the sweetest in the world! These vibrant red mangoes, resembling apples in colour, are actually originally from Florida but have found their sweet spot in Japan. Cultivated with meticulous care, from seed selection to growth, they fetch high prices due to their quality. Each year, top-tier Miyazaki mangoes, nicknamed "Taiyou no Tamago," are auctioned to the highest bidder based on their perfect size, shape, weight, and sugar content of at least 15%.


Have you tried Japanese pomelo, also known as "buntan" or "bontan"? It's a popular citrus fruit in Japan, grown mainly in Kochi, with over 40 different varieties. Similar in size to grapefruit, it has a thick, bumpy rind that starts green and turns bright yellow as it ripens. The flesh is pale yellow, sweet with a hint of bitterness, and perfect for snacking or in dishes like salads and desserts. You can even use the rind to make candies! Look for them in Japan from winter to spring—they'll stay fresh for about a week if stored cool and dry.

Sekai Ichi Apple 

Have you come across the "Sekai Ichi" apple? It's like the Godzilla of apples, known as the "world's best" for its massive size—about 45 cm in diameter! These apples are a product of serious craftsmanship in Japan, where they're meticulously crossbred and hand-pollinated to ensure every fruit grows perfectly. They even thin out the trees so each apple gets all the nutrients it needs to become supersized. That's why these apples are rare and pricey—they're not your average fruit stand fare!


You know what's the real celebrity in Japan? Melons! Seriously, they're not just a dessert staple after meals but also flavour everything from coffee to ice cream. While you can grab the generic ones at your local grocery store for a decent price, there's a whole luxury market for melons in Japan, especially the famed Yubari variety from Hokkaido. These babies can cost up to 1,000 USD each! Originally from the Middle East and India, melons in Japan aren't just fruits—they're a symbol of luxury and taste you won't forget. 

Japanese fruits are a big hit with tourists visiting this beautiful country. From juicy melons to perfectly sweet strawberries, Japan's fruit selection is not just delicious but also a big draw for anyone looking to taste the best the country has to offer!