As Japan is blessed with the beautiful seasons of Spring, Autumn, Summer and Winter, the changing from one season to another is distinctively important to Japanese. Every year in March, they have (Vernal Equinox Day) to mark the end of Winter and a new beginning to Spring.

During this period, everyone welcomes Spring nearly in the same way. Convenience stores cover their customers with creative selections. They come up with new line of delicate and tasty spring-themed foods and snacks like Sakura drinks, Sakura mochi, and Strawberry parfait. Also, every restaurant and cafe releases new menus related to Spring. As with the other seasons, Spring too has its own huge variety of seasonal fresh ingredients. Let us look at what this season that follows Winter offers.

Bamboo shoots

Famous prefectures of origin:

Kagoshima-ken, Fukuoka-ken, Kumamoto-ken, Kyoto-fu

Between April and May, bamboo shoots exist in every supermarket all over Japan. This Spring vegetable is the most common vegetable prepared and served in every household. The shoots should be enjoyed in its original flavor with as little seasoning and that is by consuming the boiled shoots with a dash of soy sauce. However, it is more common and popular among Japanese to cook bamboo shoots into a simmered dish called nimono. Nimono is prepared by simmering bamboo shoots in shiru stock flavored with sake, soy sauce, sugar, mirin and a small amount of salt.

New Cabbage

Famous prefectures of origin:

Gunma-ken, Aichi-ken

Normally, usual cabbage that is available all year long in Japan is planted in Summer and harvested in Winter. But here, we have a different type of cabbage that is planted in Autumn and harvested in Spring. This new cabbage tastes sweeter, is smaller in size, and has softer leaves, compared to the usual cabbage which is bigger in size with thicker leaves. Due to its natural sweetness and thin crunchy leaves, the new cabbage is usually used in salads.

New Potato

Famous prefectures of origin:

Kagoshima-ken, Nagasaki-ken, Ibaraki-ken, Chiba-ken

New potatoes harvested from February to June has a special characteristic in that it has a skin much thinner than the usual potato. The skin is said to be so thin that we can easily peel it off with our bare-hands. To fully enjoy the taste, it is recommended that one bakes the potato and top it with butter and a bit of salt. Potato is good for our skin as it is rich in Vitamin B and C that brighten up and improve our skin condition. As a matter of fact, even though Hokkaido is well-known as the biggest production place of potato (Hokkaido supplies up to 80% of potatoes to whole Japan), new potatoes are mostly planted and harvested from the warmer area in Kyushu island.


Famous prefectures of origin:

Fukuoka-ken, Kumamoto-ken, Tochigi-ken

Though strawberries represent Winter the best, it could also be found in Spring. Strawberries are categorized into a number of species that is harvested in different periods from December to May. For instance, Summer Princess Suzuakane and Natsumizuki available for plucking up until Summer. At the same time, Japanese convenience stores always stock up delicate strawberry snacks and desserts like strawberry whipped cream bun, strawberry parfait and strawberry mochi (Ichigo Daifuku). If you are travelling to Japan this Spring, do not forget to indulge yourself in various species of Spring strawberries!


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