Japan produces many premium variants of strawberries such as the white strawberries, Aiberry and Skyberry. As of March 2015, there are now about 253 luxury variants of strawberries in Japan!
The most unique of them all, the white strawberries are given a lovely name called Hatsukoi no Kaori which means the Scent of First Love! These strawberries were developed in 2006 by Miyoshi Agritech Co in Yamanashi Prefecture. The fruit is not only white on the outside but also on the inside! However, the seeds are red in color.
The white strawberries look unripe and sour but they are actually really sweet. Some people claimed that the white ones are sweeter than the regular ones but there are also claims that there are no distinctions in taste between them.
The white strawberries are not available in most grocery stores. You can buy them at Sun Fruits in Tokyo Midtown which also sells other variants of strawberries and other rare fruits. The unusual color makes it more expensive than the regular red strawberries. The white strawberries can cost about 12 dollars a pop. However, they seem to be less popular in recent years so you can find them on sale more often.
Another highly-priced luxury strawberry type in Japan is the Aiberry. Ai means love, so Aiberry means love berry. One Aiberry costs about 500 yen. The Aiberry originated from Aichi prefecture and is very large and sweet. It is said that one should not wash the strawberries as the aroma will be depleted. Instead, any dirt should just be blown away. I think it would be safe to eat it even without washing it, because you know, Japan is “sterilized”.
The recently developed Skyberry also costs about 500 yen a piece. It is very large so I guess it has ok value for money. The name Skyberry was given to imply that these wonderful strawberries are reaching for the vast sky. It has an ideal balance of sourness and sweetness. The strawberries hail from Tochigi Prefecture and can be found at Takano Co. in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
I have tried strawberries in Japan before and while they looked gorgeous, some tasted quite sour. I did not know which variant was it. I guess I have to hunt for certain types from this list if I want sweet strawberries!
Strawberry picking in Japan