Embrace the Sweetness of Japan's Strawberry Season – Bokksu Market

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Embrace the Sweetness of Japan's Strawberry Season

by Bokksu Staff

As spring blooms in Japan, the arrival of strawberry season paints a vibrant picture of cultural and culinary celebration. The bright red color of strawberries symbolizes good fortune and joy, making them auspicious fruits often associated with celebrations and festivities. This season is not just about the abundance of fresh fruits; it's a cultural phenomenon that showcases the deep-rooted significance of strawberries in Japanese society, inviting both locals and visitors to savor the sweetness of this seasonal treasure.

When is Strawberry Season in Japan?

Strawberries in Japan

Strawberry season in Japan typically spans from January to May, with some regions starting as early as December. However, the exact timing can vary slightly depending on the region and local climate conditions. For instance, in Southern regions like Okinawa, the strawberry season can begin as early as January due to the milder winter climate. As spring progresses, it spreads to central regions like Shizuoka Prefecture. Northern regions such as Hokkaido and northern parts of Honshu see strawberry season starting later, typically from April to May due to the cooler climates that delay the growth and ripening of these delicious strawberries.

Exploring Japan's Strawberry Varieties

Japan is celebrated for its exceptional range of strawberry varieties, boasting over 300 options that captivate with their sweeter flavor profile and delicate acidity. Here are some of the most notable varieties of Japanese strawberries:


Hailing from Fukuoka Prefecture, Amaou strawberries (also known as "King of Strawberries") are probably the most famous strawberry variety in Japan. These strawberries are larger and feature significantly sweeter and milder sour flavors compared to regular strawberries.


Originating from Tochigi Prefecture, these strawberries have a balance of sweet and sour flavor, and mild acidity. Because of their nicely pointed shape, they are often the choice for decorating desserts like Christmas cakes.


Yumenoka strawberries are cultivated in Yamagata Prefecture, and are prized for their exceptional sweet flavor, floral aroma, and tender texture. They are ideal for eating fresh or adding to fruit salads and yogurt bowls.

Beni Hoppe

Grown in Shizuoka Prefecture, Benni Hoppe strawberries, roughly translates to "red cheek" in English, are known for their unique appearance and delightful taste. They are more affordable compared to other Japanese strawberries and are commonly found in Japanese supermarkets.

Hatsukoi no Kaori

Hatsukoi no Kaori white strawberries

These Japanese strawberries are well-known for their white color, sweet taste and complete absence of sour flavor. What also sets them apart from regular strawberries is the striking contrast between their red seeds and white flesh. Given their premium price, these strawberries are usually reserved as special occasion gifts.

Health Benefits of Japanese Strawberries

In Japan, strawberries are valued not just for their delicious taste but also for their nutritional value and health benefits. These fruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, folate, and potassium. With just one serving, strawberries provide a significant portion of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, making them a great way to boost immunity. Moreover, their high vitamin C content is vital for collagen production, which helps in maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails.

These fruits are also rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins found in their red pigment. These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, reduce inflammation, and potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is crucial for digestive health. Despite their natural sweetness, strawberries are relatively low in calories and carbohydrates, making them a guilt-free indulgence.

The Art of Growing Japanese Strawberries

Japanese strawberry farm

While strawberry season typically takes place in the summer in many other countries, in Japan, it occurs during the winter months. This is made possible by their unique strawberry cultivation method in greenhouses.

The country's reputation for producing high-quality and flavorful strawberries is a testament to the meticulous care and advanced agricultural techniques employed in their strawberry cultivation. Farmers meticulously prepare optimal growing conditions for their crops, including a stable environment and humidity levels in their greenhouses, to ensure that all of the strawberries become delicious in taste, as well as uniform in shape and size.

Tips for Enjoying Strawberries in Japan

As strawberry season paints Japan in hues of vibrant red, locals and tourists alike eagerly anticipate indulging in the luscious flavors of culinary delights that this time of year brings. Whether you're embarking on a strawberry-picking adventure or seeking out the best strawberry desserts, here are tips to maximize your experience:

  • Embark on a Strawberry Picking Adventure: For an authentic farm-to-table experience, consider visiting local strawberry farms during the peak season.

  • Taste the Varieties: Take the opportunity to sample different varieties by visiting farmers' markets, Japanese supermarkets, and specialty stores.

  • Indulge in Local Delicacies: Treat your taste buds to a variety of delicious options, from timeless classics like strawberry daifuku and mochi to innovative modern creations like strawberry shortcake and strawberry parfait.

  • Attend Strawberry Festivals and Fairs: Check the event calendars for dates and locations of strawberry festivals and fairs in your area of visit, and immerse yourself in the festive spirit of strawberry season.

Strawberry Picking Season in Japan: A Family-Friendly Activity

Kid enjoying strawberry picking

Strawberry picking, known as "ichigo-gari" in Japanese, is a beloved and popular activity that offers families a delightful experience of harvesting and tasting fresh strawberries right off the stem. The optimal time for picking is typically from late January to February, and it's best to go early in the morning to ensure that you get the freshest and ripest strawberries.

To make the most of your strawberry-picking adventure, it's essential to plan ahead and make reservations, especially during peak seasons and weekends. The rules and methods of strawberry picking vary from farm to farm. so research beforehand.

Here are some popular farms that offer strawberry-picking experiences:

  • Keisei Rose Garden (Chiba Prefecture): Only an hour away from Tokyo Station, this popular rose garden now provides strawberry picking experience in a photogenic setting.

  • Kafuka Strawberry Farm (Shiga Prefecture): This farm offers an eat-all-you-can strawberry picking experience for 45 minutes, complete with complimentary chocolate sauce and condensed milk.

  • Berry Field Strawberry Garden (Fukuoka Prefecture): In this farm, you can enjoy unlimited picking strawberries for 60 minutes! They grow a variety of strawberries, including the famous Amaou strawberry.

  • Yokamon Ichigo (Fukuoka Prefecture): Visitors can choose from 11 varieties of Japanese strawberries without any time constraints in this farm. Additionally, they also offer a unique strawberry picking experience at night, where guests can pick strawberries in a beautifully lit greenhouse.

Strawberry-Inspired Japanese Desserts

Japanese strawberries hold a special place in Japanese cuisine, especially in desserts where they add a burst of color, flavor, and freshness. Here are some of the country's most beloved sweets that showcase the versatility of the fruit:

Strawberry Shortcake

One cannot discuss Japanese strawberry desserts without mentioning the iconic strawberry shortcake. This heavenly creation layers fluffy sponge cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, resulting in a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. It has become a beloved part of Japanese culture and is the preferred choice for Christmas cakes and festivities.

Ichigo Daifuku

Strawberry daifuku

This treat consists of a plump strawberry coated in sweet red bean paste and encased in a layer of soft, pillowy mochi. The marriage of flavors between the tartness of the strawberry, the richness of the red bean paste, and the chewiness of the mochi makes strawberry daifuku a beloved choice among dessert enthusiasts.


Strawberry-flavored mochi is a delightful variation of the traditional Japanese sweet, offering a burst of fruity goodness in every bite. The natural sweetness of strawberries complements the subtle flavor of mochi, resulting in a delightful treat that is both satisfying and refreshing.

Strawberry Festivals and Events in Japan

When winter fades and spring heralds its arrival in Japan, it's not just cherry blossoms that paint the landscape in vibrant hues. While January 15th is designated as Strawberry Day in Japan, a plethora of festivals and events take place across the country during this season, celebrating the luscious red fruit in all its glory.

For instance, Tokyo transforms into a dessert lover's paradise during the Strawberry Fair with renowned pastry chefs and dessert shops showcasing their creative prowess with a plethora of strawberry-themed delights. Meanwhile, festivals also take place across the country, like the Yokohama Strawberry Festival, which showcases a wide range of ways to enjoy this seasonal fruit. From free strawberry sampling to indulging in strawberry-infused traditional Japanese sweets, there are countless activities to celebrate this seasonal fruit.

Innovative Strawberry Products in Japan

Strawberry sandwiches

Dive into a realm of culinary creativity with Japan's array of innovative and unique strawberry-flavored food products:

  • Kit Kat: The brand is famous for infusing unique flavors into the beloved chocolate wafer bar. Their range includes several strawberry-flavored Kit Kats like Kit Kat Japan Sweetness For Adults (Strawberry), Kit Kat Japan Hokkaido Azuki and Strawberry, and Kit Kat Japan Kyushu Amaou Strawberry.

  • Strawberry Sake: Delight in the unique combination of strawberry essence infused into traditional Japanese sake, offering a fruity twist to this beloved alcoholic beverage.

  • Ichigo Sando: A classic Japanese fruit sandwich that combines the freshness of strawberries with the creamy richness of whipped cream, sandwiched between soft, pillowy slices of Japanese milk bread.

  • Strawberry Chuhai: A seasonal shochu highball drink infused with strawberry flavor, crafted to capture the essence of Kirapi-ka strawberries from Shizuoka.

Bokksu’s Freeze-Dried White Strawberry: A Unique Treat

Bokksu White Strawberry

While strawberry season in Japan is a fleeting delight, Bokksu offers a unique way to savor the essence of Japanese strawberries all year round with our exclusive freeze-dried White Strawberry. Produced in Nagano, Japan, this exquisite treat embodies the perfect blend of tangy strawberry and creamy white chocolate. Whether enjoyed as a snack, a topping for desserts, or a flavorful complement to beverages, Bokksu's White Strawberry adds a touch of luxury and indulgence to your culinary adventures.

Bokksu White Strawberry 6-Piece Box

Artisanal Japanese snack curator Bokksu presents the world’s first strawberry infused with chocolate! Each decadent bite reveals a perfect balance of smooth white chocolate and tangy strawberry. Produced in Nagano, Japan, these individually-wrapped strawberries are a fan favorite amongst our Bokksu Snack Box subscribers worldwide, and now they’re packaged in a beautiful box that’s perfect for treating yourself or gifting to gourmands!

Common Allergens: Milk, Tree Nuts (Coconut), Soy.

Please Note: If temperatures in your location are above 28°C (82°F), this chocolate product may get heat damaged in transit. We cannot be held responsible for any temperature-related damages caused during shipping.

Sale $12.99 Regular $15.99 19% OFF
1.9 oz

The Sweet Appeal of Strawberry Season in Japan

In conclusion, strawberry season in Japan is more than just a culinary delight; it's a celebration of nature's bounty and cherished traditions. Whether you're wandering through picturesque strawberry fields, savoring exquisite desserts, or joining in festive events, there is a symphony of flavors and experiences waiting to be savored. Come and let Japan's strawberry season remind you of the timeless joy found in simple pleasures and the beauty of nature's gifts.

Author Bio

Embrace the Sweetness of Japan's Strawberry Season


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