The Very Japanese Art of Growing Perfect Apples

By Rebecca Horne | October 6, 2010 12:12 pm

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Top Posts
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  • Rhacodactylus

    Amazing images, it really makes me want to try one of their apples.


  • Bryan-kun

    So that’s why some of the apples cost 500 yen ($5.85 about) a piece in the grocery store.

  • david bram
  • Aaron

    You think Japan has innovative apple growth? Then why are they still climbing ladders to pick apples? We moved beyond full size apple trees more than a decade ago, the best apples in the world, grown in Washington, California, or even New Zealand, are grown on trees maybe 5 feet high. Maybe that is why Washington apples are number one in Japan?

  • Lindsay

    I live in Aomori. Yes, the apples are quite delicious. Unfortunately, for the ones like this, I estimate that you might expect to pay upwards of 5 dollars EACH. Still, even the not-so-labor-intensive ones in the grocery store are excellent.

  • Jen

    I didn’t realize this was a “very Japanese” practice. these kinds of apples are easily found in any Beijing grocery store. The prices for them are higher, obviously, but not prohibitively so. I would not have suspected them to be imports.

  • Scoday

    @Aaron: I think you completely missed the point. Washington Apples are #1 in Japan because they are mass produced and cheap… That is kind of like saying GM (used to be) #1 in the world, it did not mean they were better..

  • Jumblepudding

    They should apply these methods to some of the newer apple types developed at the University of Minnesota, such as Honeycrisp and Zestar. The resulting fruit would be a controlled substance because of the deliciousness level.

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  • Ed Mandelford

    @Scoday – Out here on the east coast I gave up buying commercially grown red “delicious” apples when they started to TASTE like they were produced by GM. Like a new car, you need financing to afford them, and they do look scrumptious… all shiny and new (thanks to layers of wax and pesticides); but under the hood they’re a mess. Hard, mealy, too tart from being picked and shipped before their engines are properly oiled.
    “Red delicious apples, the other non-vine ripened tomato”

  • http://discover Randy Thomet

    The problem with these beautiful apples is that the taste is of secondary importance.

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  • katrick

    Why do they waste there time trying to control what mother nature seems to beable to do pretty much on her own. Yes you have to prune trees occasionally and watch for pests, but this is way to much work for a fruit that is not even as great as what we produce here in the states.

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  • Dipa

    @ Randy Thomet

    That seems to be a bit of a trend with all Japanese fruit (or food) in general. Too much emphasis is placed on appearance rather than flavor.

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About Rebecca Horne

Rebecca Horne ( is an artist, multi-platform freelance writer, and award-winning photography director. She launched Visual Science for in March 2010. She also writes about science and photography for The WallStreet Journal. You can reach her at


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