People of all ages love strawberries for their sweetness as well as their refreshing sour tang. It is thought that commercial cultivation of the berry began in the 19th century in Japan. While strawberries are often made into jams, used to flavor ice creams, or processed into puree to prepare dessert sauces, many Japanese people prefer to eat them raw.
Japan is known to consume more raw strawberries than any other country on earth. Japanese farmers continue to develop new breeds and improve them. Today, even giant strawberries longer that 4 cm (1.6 inches) can be found, offering a particularly strong sweetness. Some “luxury” strawberries cost more than 700 yen apiece. The prime season for strawberries is early spring, when their taste is as its peak. The Keio Plaza Hotel’s restaurants and cages serve parfaits and many other desserts featuring strawberries.