You might be able to find strawberries in various parts of Japan, but when you mention this succulent berry one of the first locations that comes to mind is Ibaraki Province.
Located northeastern of Tokyo, Ibaraki has all the perfect conditions needed — from long days to moderate changes in temperature between day and night, etc.— for fostering the deliciously iconic sweet flavour of strawberries we have come to love.
“Tochi Otome” and the native breed “Ibarakiss” are the among the various varieties of strawberries cultivated in the province.
“Tochi Otome” is treasured for its quality flavour profiles — strong sugary sweetness with moderate sour tones — and is considered the no. 1 breed of strawberries in Eastern Japan.
It is also juicy and sturdy berry which allows it to be kept for a relatively long period of time.
Ibaraki’s native breed the “Ibarakiss” is easily recognisable with its lustrous red coat, huge size and slightly slim ellipse shape.
The Ibarakiss is rich in sugar and moderate in acidity, providing a rich sweet and sour flavour profile.
It is also a hardy and juicy berry, bursting with flavour with every bite.
Ibaraki strawberries are can be found in Japanese shop houses among other shops. Do give them a try when you see!