The distinctive climate of Japan’s four seasons means that there are many delicious foods that can only be savoured for a short time. The prime season for these foods is known as Shun and the spring season brings delicious food such as bamboo shoots, Asari clams and the very well known and expensive red snapper fish. Just as Malaysia has a season for when the durian fruit is at its best, in Japan, the seasonal fruit for spring is strawberries.
The basement floor of department stores, referred to as Depa-chika, are dedicated to vast food halls of seasonal foods. There are stalls selling dishes made from seasonal produce where visitors can enjoy tasting the delicious flavours of the season. Seasonal flavours and produce are used not only in Japanese cuisine, they are also creatively incorporated into international dishes as well as sweets and desserts. A Bento (lunch box) is a great way to experience a variety of these flavours all in one neat little box.