Yes, that’s right. January through March is strawberry season in Japan. The strawberries are mostly grown in greenhouses, enabling a winter growing season. Fruit in Japan is often considered a dessert. Strawberries are no exception. They are beautifully packaged and can be very costly also making them a nice present.

These strawberries are for sale at YorkMart, the Japanese grocery store near our house. One of the packages pictured below is ¥753 including tax. With 11-15 strawberries in a container, that is a pretty steep price! However, for the fresh right off the vine taste, the price was worth it. The strawberries taste delicious and freshly picked!

This is the package I purchased from the YorkMart.

These Japanese strawberries were for sale at the Commissary on base.

The package I purchased at the Commissary for $4.99.

Fresh strawberries are not the only popular item during strawberry season. Looking around the grocery store, I found strawberries in a variety of items. From snacks, cookies, chocolates and nuts!

I also found strawberry chu-hai, strawberry pocky and chocolates with strawberry filling.

The best find was the delicious pancake with strawberry and cream filling.

As with other things, the Japanese didn’t invent the strawberry, they just found a way to make it a little bit better. They made it better by offering fresh vine ripened strawberries in the middle of winter when everyone is craving a little extra vitamin C.