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Apples of Aomori are to die for! Do you know why? Because they are awfully sweet, bigger, have a crispy texture, juicy, sweeter fragrance, much rounder, and have eye-catching light reddish color. Everything from the appearance to taste makes it perfect to be the best fruit in the Tohoku region. A trip to Aomori will not complete without eating an apple. It is true!

Apple is an icon of Aomori prefecture. Aomori, the northernmost prefecture on the mainland of Japan produces more than half of the total apple production in entire Japan. It produces approximately 50 million tons of apples per year. It is unbelievable that one single prefecture of Japan produces such a huge volume of apples. Aomori’s apple harvest begins in June, but the majority of apples are harvested from July to November.

The journey of apple cultivation in Aomori prefecture had begun in the spring season of 1875. The three apple saplings were sent to Aomori Prefectural Office from the Home Ministry of the Department of Industry Promotion. Those apple saplings then were planted on the grounds of the Aomori Prefectural Office. Thus how the apple cultivation had started its journey in Aomori prefecture.

In 1931, the first ever Japanese Apple Research Institute was established in Kuroishi City, Aomori. The institute then kept researching on developing apple cultivation. If you visit the Prefectural Office now, you could see seven varieties of apple trees standing in the front yard that was planted after 1963. Please note that apple trees could live at least 100 years. That’s their average life expectancy.

In 1975, local people there celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Apple cultivation by erecting a memorial plaque. It was constructed at the same spot where the first apple trees were planted. Apple cultivation is one of the leading industries in Aomori after the rice cultivation. You have got to come to Aomori in order to eat fresh Fuji and Mutsu varieties of apple. These could be stored for a long period of time especially the Fuji Apple.

Aomori apples have not just satisfied our mind and stomachs in Japan, but it is now exported to many Asian countries. The popularity of Aomori apple has reached its ultimate success. Apple farms that spread throughout Aomori prefecture produce high-quality apples which can be eaten fresh after picking them off the trees. You even don’t need to buy them from the store. Just head toward the apple farms you find nearby and have an unforgettable experience.

Aomori’s apple picking season begins from early-July to mid-November. Though, the best time for picking the apple in Aomori is in August. Here, most of the private fruit picking farms let their visitors pick apples in July. Please bear in mind that, each and every apple in Aomori is grown with proper care and a lot of dedication.

Apple picking season depends on the Apple's growth. You cannot expect to pick apples at any time of year. It is because there is a certain apple harvesting time. For example, Hirosaki Apple Park lets visitors picking its apples only during the months from August to mid-November. If you want to get this experience, please get there either in early August or before mid-November.

There are six types of Apples that are grown in Aomori. All of these types of apples have their own characteristics, tastes, colors, and shapes. Let’s explore them all.

Sekai Ichi:

One of the main characteristics of this apple variety is the size. The name “Sekai Ichi” means World’s Number One. It is the biggest apple variety you would ever find in the land of the rising sun. This apple could be about 500-1000g in size! It indicates that this is not only the biggest apple variety in Japan but also in the world. The skin has a darker red and yellow background with red stripes. It has a sweet fragrance as the fruit itself is very sweet and juicy at the same time. The texture of this apple is firm (crisp) but with a very little tartness. Eating fresh Sekai Ichi apple is the best than cooking or baking it.

Mutsu (Crispin):

This is extremely intensely sweet apple which has plentiful juice. In 1930, it was first originated to Aomori since then it has been dominating its popularity across Japan. It is crisp with slightly tart, juicy and has an excellent sweeter flavor. It has a pleasing pink color skin which makes this apple quite excellent to look at.

Fuji:

It is one of the apple varieties that Japan could be proud of. Fuji is not an ordinary apple variety. It has a good balance between sweetness and tartness. It grows about 300-500g in size, and the skin is beautifully decorated with scarlet strips. Please note that it was first developed in 1962 by Tohoku research station, Japan.

Kinsei:

Does it look like the planet, Venus? In fact, the word “Kinsei” means the planet Venus. Maybe it was named after Venus because of the color and the shape. History says, it was first originated in Aomori prefecture then it spread throughout Tohoku region. The skin is yellowish-white, and it never turns to red. One Kinsei apple could be about 300-400g in size. It is not the biggest apple variety of Aomori, but it dominates its popularity with other varieties with the sweet flavor, plentiful juice, and sweet taste. Every apple variety is sweet in Japan so is the Kinsei apple!

Jonagold:

You can hardly fine tasteless apple variety in Aomori. Jonagold is a tasty apple comes in the yellowish background with red stripes skin and pretty much rounder. It is about 300g in size that has a very little tart but very juicy. Please note that this is one of the best dessert apples you could ever find on earth.

Ohrin:

This is not a round shape apple variety, but it looks very oblong. Its skin comes in yellowish-green color. Nowadays Ohrin is seen to be the third most grown apple in Japan. Low tartness and high sweetness make it perfect to be eaten fresh. It is the smallest variety apples than those of the varieties explained above. A single Ohrin apple size could vary from 250 to 300g. Eating two or three Ohrin apples per day helps to reduce the risk of developing a variety of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Aomori’s Apples Are the Best in Japan Because…..

The weather of Aomori is quite suitable to grow tons of fresh apples. Apart from that, there are some things that play important role producing a huge volume of apples each year. For example – the soil, as you know only fertile soil with proper weather condition is able to grow quality apples, while rest is the significant commitment of time and work! Having only proper weather condition does not mean it could grow everything we want, rather we have to depend on the soil.

Not every apple grows everywhere. Maybe the types of Apples that usually grow in Aomori could not be grown in Furano. Growing quality apple requires a year-long operation. The entire productivity fully depends on this. Even though Aomori apples farmers are dedicated they need to use right agricultural chemicals to remove insects. I have visited many apple farms across Aomori and experienced that the farmers I met there were very hard-working. I have seen farmers there were covering each and every apple with the bag. This is not a crazy thing to them.

In order to grow good quality apples, there is no way except the sunlight. This is the primary thing to think of, and that’s why farmer there prune correctly at the right time so that all parts of the tree get proper sunlight. On the other hand, they have to cut the grasses before they grow too long. Farmers of Aomori are also concerned about the nutrition of the fruit. As a result, they remove the useless and unhealthy fruits from the trees and let the healthy ones grow carefully.

It is said that Aomori has the largest apple farming land about 21,400 hectares as of 2012. It has got a great reputation being the leader of the highest apple production region in Japan. You can get Aomori’s apples everywhere in Japan. After fulfilling the domestic demand, most of the apples that grow in Aomori are exported to different regions of the world, mostly in Asia.