Although asparagus is available year-round, the spears on shelves during fall and winter are mostly imported. The peak season for domestic asparagus is spring to early summer, which means these vibrant and healthy veggies are in season right now.

Asparagus was originally introduced to Japan in the Edo Period (1603-1868) by the Dutch as an ornamental plant. In the Taisho Era (1912-1926), they were grown in Hokkaido for canning as an export. Canned asparagus continued to be sent overseas until World War II, but the global market for Japanese asparagus declined drastically afterward. From then on, farmers in Hokkaido, Nagano, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and other regions started growing asparagus for domestic diners, leading to the tasty treats we have today.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.