Languages › Japanese Fruits: Japanese Vocabulary Share Flipboard Email Print Japanese Essential Japanese Vocabulary History & Culture Japanese Grammar By Namiko Abe Japanese Language Expert B.A., Kwansei Gakuin University Namiko Abe is a Japanese language teacher and translator, as well as a Japanese calligraphy expert. She has been a freelance writer for nearly 20 years. our editorial process Namiko Abe Updated June 20, 2019 Fruits are an important part of both the diet and the culture in Japan. For example, Obon is one of the most important Japanese holidays. People believe that their ancestors' spirits come back to their homes to be reunited with their family during this time. In preparation for Obon, Japanese people also clean their houses and place a variety of fruits and vegetables in front of butsudan (Buddhist altars) to nourish the spirits of their ancestors. Knowing how to say the name of fruits and write them is an important part of learning Japanese. The tables present the names of the fruits in English, the transliteration in Japanese, and the word written in Japanese lettering. Though there are no strict rules, some of the names of fruits are commonly written in katakana. Click each link to bring up a sound file and hear how to pronounce the word for each fruit. Native Fruits The fruits listed in this section are, of course, also grown in many other countries. But, Japanese growers do produce native varieties of these fruits, according to Alicia Joy, writing on the website, the Culture Trip, who notes: "Almost all Japanese fruits are cultivated as both generic and affordable types alongside their luxurious and pricey counterparts. A few of these fruits are native to Japan, and some were imported, but it’s safe to say that all of them have been cultivated in some way to be purely Japanese." So it's important to learn how to pronounce and write the names of these varieties. Fruit(s) kudamono 果物 Persimmon kaki 柿 Melon meron メロン Japanese Orange mikan みかん Peach momo 桃 Pear nashi なし Plum ume 梅 Adopted Japanese Words Japan has adapted the names of some fruits grown in other parts of the world. But, the Japanese language has no sound or letter for "l." Japanese does have an "r" sound, but it is different from the English "r." Still, fruits that Japan imports from the West are pronounced using the Japanese language version of "r," as the table in this section shows. Other fruits, such as "banana," are literally transliterated into a Japanese word. The Japanse word for "melon" is repeated here to illustrate the point. Fruit(s) kudamono 果物 Banana banana バナナ Melon meron メロン Orange orenji オレンジ Lemon remon レモン Other Popular Fruits Of course, a variety of other fruits are popular in Japan. Take a few moments to learn how to pronounce the names of these fruits too. Japan does grow some varieties of apples—the Fuji, for example, was developed in Japan in the 1930s and not introduced to the U.S. until the 1960s—but it also imports many others. Learn these fruits and then enjoy sampling the wide variety available in Japan as you speak about them knowledgeably with Japanese speakers. Or as the Japanese would say: Nihon no kudamono o o tanoshimi kudasai. (日本の果物をお楽しみください。) > Enjoy sampling the fruits in Japan. Fruit(s) kudamono 果物 Apricot anzu 杏 Grapes budou ぶどう Strawberry ichigo いちご Fig ichijiku いちじく Apple ringo りんご Cherry sakuranbo さくらんぼ Watermelon suika スイカ Japanese Vocabulary Related to the Concept of Family How to Say the Months, Days, and Seasons in Japanese How to Begin Learning Japanese 10 Animal Sounds in Japanese Words Japanese for Beginners Japanese Writing for Beginners How to Write Love in Japanese Kanji Japanese Green Tea When to Use On-Reading and Kun-Reading for Kanji How Do You Say "Merry Christmas" in Japanese? How To Stress Syllables in Japanese Pronunciation Formal Introductions in Japanese Basic Japanese Language Vocabulary with Audio Files Learn the Japanese Phrase 'Ki o Tsukete' Japanese Greetings and Parting Phrases Is Japanese hard to learn?