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“Ready, steady, go!” My two daughters quickly dart away and vanish into a sea of bushy green leaves flecked with dots of scarlet in search of their favorite fruit — strawberries.

Japan has long been known as a nation with a near-evangelical devotion to all things seasonal — from its appreciation of springtime sakura blossoms and the shifting fiery shades of autumnal leaves to the ceremony surrounding the auction sale of the first maguro tuna of the year.

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