Some Tokyoites are welcoming the new year with a strawberry or two. That’s all most people can afford with these new Hatsukoinokaori, “Fragrance of First Love” strawberries going for almost 12 dollars a berry. The sales clerk confessed that this recently developed fruit tastes like any other strawberry: the flesh just doesn’t turn red. The berry’s PR flyer reveals that depending on the weather though, (or if the berry finds out how much she costs), she may start to blush pink.
If you like shopping for fruit like you shop for jewelry, head to “Sun Fruits” in Tokyo’s Midtown shopping center. Besides strawberries, the shop sells individual apples, bananas, dried persimmons, assorted fruit baskets, and other seasonal fruits—all in absolutely museum-class condition and at world-class prices.
Now is strawberry season and Sun Fruits offers a dozen choices. If pale berries are not your thing, try Echigohime. She’s billed as big and juicy, with a balanced sweet and sour taste, and a rich berry fragrance. Or Benihoppe, “Red Cheeks,” who is so delicious your cheeks will fall off—her flesh is red inside and out. Perhaps the seductively shaped Yumenoka, or the firm Yayoihime. You won’t be able to resist buying only one Mouikko, “Just One More,” with her plump size and balanced sweet and sour taste. Metaphor lovers will swoon for Hinoshizuku from Kumamoto Prefecture. The area is famous for pure water and this berry is thought to resemble a drop of that famous water. Tochihime is more sweet than sour, but her flesh is yielding and needs to be consumed quickly. Sachinoka boasts great mouthfeel. And Sagahonoka was developed jumbo-sized to be given as a gift.
The ever popular Tochiotome is a well rounded, balance character. And the precocious Amaou is cleverly named after her four attributes: akai (red), marui (round), ooki (big), and umai (delicious).
A box of 24 Amauo will set you back over 100 dollars.
Sun Fruits is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday.