Our selection of Tohoku’s most delicious fruits
Aomori prefecture is responsible for about 60 percent of the nation’s production of apples. The long daylight hours of summer and cold, harsh winter weather are perfect for the growth of delicious apples. A wide variety of apples are available depending on the season and there are many farms in Aomori open to the public where visitors can pick their own apples. Enjoy sampling these locally produced apples with their pleasing balance of sharp sweetness!
Yamagata prefecture produces about 70 percent of Japan’s cherries. With the arrival of summer the locals enjoy the sweet, juicy jewel-like ruby fruit. June is the best season for the pick-your-own cherry experiences available at local farms and visitors can enjoy picking and sampling these gems in all weather conditions as Yamagata cherries are usually grown in protective greenhouses.
Fukushima’s juicy peaches are the star attraction thanks to their fine texture and sensational sweetness. There are a number of fruit farms offering pick-your-own fruit experiences located along Prefectural Route 5, also known as the “Fruit Line”, and Route 13, known as the “Peach Line”. Pick-your-own peach experiences are available from July to October depending on the farm.
Miyagi prefecture is the largest producer of strawberries in Tohoku. There are many farms open to the public where visitors can pick their own strawberries in the towns along the south coast of Miyagi including Watari-cho and Yamamoto-cho. The picking season is from December to June each year. Come and enjoy the locally produced Moikko (“one more”) strawberry, known for its large size and refreshing sweetness!
Tohoku is the leading producer of grapes in Japan and there are many farms offering pick-your-own grape experiences all across the region. A large variety of grapes can be enjoyed including Shine Muscat with a large fruit and crisp flavour and the nation’s favourite Delaware grape, a smaller, sweet variety from Yamagata, the top producer of this popular variety.
Yamagata prefecture produces about 60 percent of the nation’s western pears. “La France”, the most popular variety with a rich aroma and a smooth texture, is in season from autumn to winter. A range of products made with “La France” are also available including jellies, jams and preserves, many of which are available in beautifully wrapped packages making the perfect gift!
Our selection of Tohoku’s best Western-style sweets
The city centre of Hirosaki in Aomori prefecture is home to over 50 cafes and shops offering a range of local apple pies. Explore this city of apples with the help of the guide to Hirosaki’s apple pies available from the city’s information centre! Each café and shop has its own unique recipe. Come and discover your favourite apple pie with the perfect balance of sweet, sharp, cinnamon flavours!
Our selection of Tohoku’s best traditional sweets
Zunda-mochi Rice Cake
Zunda-mochi rice cake is a local delicacy of Sendai city. Zunda is a light green paste made with mashed Edamame beans and sugar, with a subtle sweetness and the fresh flavour of Edamame. Zunda-mochi, a sticky rice cake covered with Zunda, is an easily digested and nutritious snack popular with locals during the hot summer months. In addition to Zunda-mochi, today a variety of local sweets with Zunda are available including milkshakes and parfaits. Enjoy sampling these authentic local sweets!
Sasa Dango Glutinous Rice Balls
Sasa Dango is a popular sweet in Niigata prefecture, one of Japan’s largest rice producers. Peeling off the aromatic bamboo-leaf wrapping, you will find glutinous rice balls with the Japanese herb Yomogi kneaded in and filled with sweet Azuki bean paste. The flavour of the bamboo leaves and Yomogi herb is reminiscent of classical Japan. Some local shops offer freshly made Sasa Dango where you may be lucky enough to find a free sample!
Yubeshi is a popular local sweet with a range of varieties available across the regions of Tohoku. Kurumi-Yubeshi, a square-shaped sticky rice cake with walnut pieces is the most popular in all of Tohoku. Fukushima is known for a triangular Yubeshi filled with Azuki bean paste. Tohoku’s Yubeshi are made with simple, refined ingredients and make the perfect gift for people of all ages.