Strawberries Part 2: Fukuoka #4 – Amaou Strawberries (あまおう)

Last week I talked about Tochigi’s strawberries. Now let’s look at Fukuoka! Fukuoka’s famous strawberry is the Amaou, supposedly standing for “amai” (sweet), “marui” (round), “ookii” (large), and “umai” (tasty/delicious). These strawberries are pretty expensive and can often be found in nice department stores in Japan and given as gifts.

I’ve never been to this area of Japan so I don’t have this postcard, but I DID find Fukuoka strawberries at my local grocery store, so I bought some along with Tochigi’s strawberries to have a STRAWBERRY FIGHT. They aren’t Amaou, but the Tochigi ones aren’t Tochiotome, so that’s probably good. Anyway, let’s look at the results:


Price: Tochigi’s berries were 200 yen, these are a little more expensive.


Amount: More came in the pack though, so that’s probably even anyway!


Size and shape: Tochigi strawberries are more diamond shaped while Fukuoka’s are more heart shaped, but about the same size.


Taste: …. yuuummmm! (Haha, I can’t tell the difference, they were both good!)

So while I’m sure comparing Amaou and Tochiotome will have different results, at this time I can definitely say that strawberries are awesome no matter where they’re from! But I encourage everyone to come to their own conclusions, especially if you can find Amaou or Tochiotome yourself. I did find a great article with some fantastic information on both kinds of strawberries I’d definitely give a read here.

If you are in Fukuoka from November to May, look around for opportunities to pick these strawberries. This website here has some great resources and tips.

Finally, as a bonus picture, I wasn’t the only one interested in the outcome of the strawberry match:


“I like the smell of Fukuoka strawberries!” says my cat.

Well I guess we have a winner after all. Sorry Tochigi, my cat is an expert!

2015.01.20: I’ve found a great video on Strawberries in Japan, including Tochigi’s and Fukuoka’s famous brands. It’s a bit long, but worth a watch for those with the time. It is from NHK’s BEGIN Japanology video, and you can watch it here.

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Strawberries Part 1: Tochigi #1 – Strawberries (いちご)

It’s gotten cold here recently, and snow has started falling in many places across Japan, including, to my utter surprise, in my area as well. (It’s too early! I’m not ready for winter!) One thing I look forward to in the winter season is the strawberries. These berries brighten up the winter season, and are added into cakes and sweets all winter. My favorite strawberry treat is called a “daifuku”, a whole strawberry wrapped in tasty mochi with red bean paste. I can’t resist these.

There are two prefectures who reign supreme in strawberry production, Tochigi and Fukuoka. We’ll look at Fukuoka next post and focus on Tochigi for this one. Strawberries in Japan are grown November to May, although increasingly they are available in the off-season as well. Tochigi’s most famous style is called “Tochiotome” and were developed in 1996. Living in the Kanto region as I am, these are the easiest to find at local grocery stores.

In fact, I went yesterday and bought a few packs for science! Let’s take a look:


Mmm strawberries


I bought the cheaper ones, so they aren’t necessarily Tochiotome, but they are definitely from Tochigi!


My mini postcard posing with the strawberries


And just for fun!

I also bought a pack of Fukuoka strawberries, so tune in to next week’s post to see the face off between the two! Meanwhile, I’ve got some strawberries to eat.

By the way, strawberry picking is a popular activity in the winter, and there are places all over Japan to pick besides Tochigi or Fukuoka. If you’re in Japan during the winter and have some time, why don’t you soak in the winter sunshine, pick some strawberries, and have a fun day out in the country? Here is a great list of places in the Kanto region you can pick at: click here.

2015.01.20: I’ve found a great video on Strawberries in Japan, including Tochigi’s and Fukuoka’s famous brands. It’s a bit long, but worth a watch for those with the time. It is from NHK’s BEGIN Japanology video, and you can watch it here.