The Star of Japanese Vineyards: Understanding the Appeal of Kyoho Grapes

The Star of Japanese Vineyards: Understanding the Appeal of Kyoho Grapes

 Where do Kyoho Grapes originate from?

Japan's love for perfection and uniqueness has led to some incredible creations, and their grapes are no exception. Enter Kyoho grapes (巨峰), star-studded grapes that have captured the hearts and taste buds of many around the globe. Known for their large size, thick skins, and juicy sweetness, Kyoho grapes are a true testament to Japan's meticulous horticulture.


Kyoho grapes
Photo by photoAC

But where do these stellar fruits hail from? It's none other than the Land of the Rising Sun itself. Kyoho grapes were bred in Japan in the 1930s and quickly became a popular variety. The name "Kyoho" translates to "giant mountain grapes", hinting at their large size and the mountainous regions they thrive in. The parent varieties that were crossbred to produce the Kyoho were Ishiharawase and Centennial, chosen for their excellent flavor and size traits, respectively.

 Kyoho grapes in a vineyard
Photo by photoAC

Though the Kyoho was originally bred in Japan, it's now grown in several countries worldwide, including China, Korea, and the United States, particularly in California. However, Japan remains the leading producer of Kyoho grapes. Specific regions in Japan, such as Yamanashi and Nagano, are particularly famed for their Kyoho grape cultivation. They offer the perfect combination of soil composition and climate, ideal for nurturing these juicy, sweet, and slightly sour grapes.

 

Popular Desserts Made from Kyoho Grapes

Kyoho grapes aren't just enjoyed as a fresh fruit; they've also found their way into the kitchen, with chefs using them to create delectable desserts. The grape's natural sweetness and slight tartness make it an ideal ingredient for a variety of sweet treats.


Star Kyoho grapesPhoto by photoAC

One of the most popular Kyoho grape desserts is Kyoho grape jelly (巨峰ゼリー). This dessert perfectly captures the grape's essence, combining its sweet and tart flavors with the refreshing feel of jelly. In Japan, it's commonly served in the summer as a light and cooling dessert. The jelly, made from the grape juice, is often filled with a whole grape for a delightful surprise.

 

Kyoho grape sorbet ice cream dessert
A refreshing kyoho grape sorbet | Photo by photoAC

Kyoho grape sorbet is another refreshing dessert that showcases the fruit's distinct flavor. The sorbet is typically made with just grape juice, sugar, and a bit of lemon juice, allowing the grape's natural flavors to shine through. It's the perfect dessert to beat the summer heat and enjoy the rich flavor of Kyoho grapes at the same time.

 

Kyoho and shine muscat tart
The kings and queens of Japanese grapes (Kyoho & Shine Muscat) on a tart | Photo by photoAC

Kyoho grapes can also be used in baked goods. They're a great addition to tarts, adding a sweet and slightly sour pop of flavour. Kyoho grape tarts often feature the grapes as the star, with the grapes sitting atop a creamy custard filling.

 

Red wine with grapes

Finally, there's the decadent Kyoho grape wine. Yes, these grapes aren't just confined to desserts! The wine made from Kyoho grapes is known for its rich, fruity flavour and deep purple color. It's a great way to enjoy the essence of Kyoho grapes in a more grown-up way.


Kyoho Grapes Season

Variety of grapes
Photo by photoAC

Just like other fruits, Kyoho grapes have a specific growing season. Knowing when this season is will help you enjoy the grapes at their freshest and most flavorful. Typically, the Kyoho grape season starts in mid-summer and lasts until early fall. This is when the grapes reach their peak sweetness and size.

 

Wrapped kyoho grapes and shine muscats
Photo by photoAC

During the season, you'll find Kyoho grapes in many grocery stores and markets across Japan. They're often packaged in beautiful boxes, making them popular gifts. You might also see vendors selling them at roadside stands, especially in the grape-growing regions of Yamanashi and Nagano.

 

Kyoho grapes in the farm
Photo by photoAC

Farmers take great care during the harvest season to ensure the grapes are picked at just the right time. The grapes need to be ripe enough to reach their full flavor potential, but not overly so that they become mushy or spoil quickly. It's a delicate balance that requires a good understanding of the grape's growing habits and close monitoring of the vineyard.

 

When are they harvested?

Harvesting kyoho grapes
Photo by photoAC

In Japan, Kyoho grapes are typically harvested in late August to September. This is when the grapes have developed their characteristic large size and sweet, slightly tart flavor. However, the exact timing can vary based on the local climate and weather conditions. In regions with milder summers, the harvest might start a bit later, while in hotter regions, it could begin earlier.

Harvesting Kyoho grapes is a labour-intensive process, requiring careful handling to avoid damaging the fruit. The grapes are often hand-picked, one cluster at a time. After picking, the grapes are carefully packaged to protect them during transport.

 

Father and child grape picking
Photo by photoAC

It's also worth noting that some farmers in Japan offer grape-picking experiences during the harvest season. Visitors can go to the vineyards, learn about the growing and harvesting process, and pick their own grapes. It's a fun and educational activity that lets you appreciate the hard work that goes into growing these incredible fruits.

 

Kyoho grapes in a basket
Photo by photoAC

So, there you have it: a closer look at the star of Japanese vineyards, the Kyoho grape. From its origins in Japan's mountainous regions to the delicious desserts made from it and its harvest season, this grape truly is a unique gem in the fruit world. Whether you're a fruit lover, a foodie, or simply curious about different types of fruits, the Kyoho grape is definitely worth trying.

 

Experience the Season with a Japanese Snack Box Subscription

There's something special about eating fruits in their peak season, isn't there? You get to enjoy them at their freshest, juiciest, and most flavorful. But what if you're not in Japan to enjoy the Kyoho grape season? Don't worry, we've got you covered. With JAPAN RAIL CLUB’s Omiyage Snack Box Subscription, you can experience a taste of Japan's seasons, including autumn's bountiful harvest, right at your doorstep.


Our snack box isn't just about traditional Japanese snacks. We also include treats that feature seasonal fruits, like the Kyoho grapes during their harvest season, as part of the snack box. It's our way of letting you experience Japan's rich and diverse food culture, one season at a time. Trust us, your taste buds are in for a treat!

Meet the author

Snack Lover

JAPAN RAIL CLUB's resident Snack Lover is on a mission to prove that there's a world of wonder within each snack! Whether in the form of a blog post or an info bite, find out more about the history, culture, and stories of each snack that Japan has to offer with Snack Lover. Snack Lover believes that it's not just about the snacks; it's about sharing, connecting, and creating unforgettable moments with loved ones.

Hungry for more?

Get on track with our monthly offerings of exclusive snacks from all over Japan!

Find what you’re interested in

Mount Fuji with tea plantation in the foreground
Sue Lynn

Happy Mount Fuji Day (23 February): 5 Ways to E...

Standing at 3,776m above sea level, the almost perfectly symmetrical Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan) is Japan’s highest mountain, and has become a symbol of the country, recognised worldwide for its...

Carissa Loh Travel

Happy Mount Fuji Day (23 February): 5 Ways to E...

Standing at 3,776m above sea level, the almost perfectly symmetrical Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan) is...

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in Japan to Meet Feline Friends
Sue Lynn

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in J...

Are you a cat (猫 neko) lover? If you’ve been to Japan, you might have noticed how beloved cats are over there. Think maneki-neko (招き猫) cat figurines that beckon luck,...

Carissa Loh Culture

Happy Cat Day (22 February): 5 Cat Islands in J...

Are you a cat (猫 neko) lover? If you’ve been to Japan, you might have...

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s Day in Japan
Sue Lynn

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s ...

Love is in the air in February with Valentine’s Day! On 14 February, Valentine’s Day is universally celebrated across the globe where presents like chocolates, candies, and flowers are gifted...

Wendy Ng Culture

In the Mood for Love: Romancing on Valentine’s ...

Love is in the air in February with Valentine’s Day! On 14 February, Valentine’s Day...

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the Izu Peninsula
Sue Lynn

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the...

With so many captivating attractions, you can spend days exploring the Izu Peninsula with your loved one, but where to start? Here are our top five picks for romantic dating...

Carissa Loh Travel

Romance Izu in the Air: 5 Romantic Spots in the...

With so many captivating attractions, you can spend days exploring the Izu Peninsula with your...

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo”, Cafes, and the Railway Museum
Sue Lynn

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo...

Located just about half an hour north of Central Tokyo, Ōmiya Station (大宮駅 Ōmiya-eki) is the gateway to the neighbouring Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県). It is also a stop on more...

JAPANKURU Travel

A Side Trip to Saitama: Discovering “Little Edo...

Located just about half an hour north of Central Tokyo, Ōmiya Station (大宮駅 Ōmiya-eki) is...

February Maker’s Story: Shizuoka-grown Wasabi by Kameya Foods
Sue Lynn

February Maker’s Story: Shizuoka-grown Wasabi b...

Are you familiar with wasabi (わさび)? Made from the Wasabia japonica plant, wasabi or the Japanese horseradish is a unique spice native to Japan and is a staple in Japanese...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

February Maker’s Story: Shizuoka-grown Wasabi b...

Are you familiar with wasabi (わさび)? Made from the Wasabia japonica plant, wasabi or the...

Winter Wonderland: 7 Snowiest Cities in Japan and Must-do Activities
Sue Lynn

Winter Wonderland: 7 Snowiest Cities in Japan a...

Winter season in Japan boasts some of its most amazing and picturesque sceneries, especially in regions lying alongside the Sea of Japan (日本海), otherwise known as Yukiguni (雪国), or Snow...

Dawn Sim Festival

Winter Wonderland: 7 Snowiest Cities in Japan a...

Winter season in Japan boasts some of its most amazing and picturesque sceneries, especially in...

Winter Wonders: 8 Winter Foods & Delicacies to Enjoy in Japan
Sue Lynn

Winter Wonders: 8 Winter Foods & Delicacies to ...

Winter in Japan is not just a season to enjoy snow activities and festivals; it’s also a time to indulge in winter cuisine as Japan is blessed with bountiful harvest...

Wendy Ng Food

Winter Wonders: 8 Winter Foods & Delicacies to ...

Winter in Japan is not just a season to enjoy snow activities and festivals; it’s...

Nuts About Chiba! Exploring Chiba, Peanuts, and Setsubun Culture
Sue Lynn

Nuts About Chiba! Exploring Chiba, Peanuts, and...

Have you been to Chiba Prefecture (千葉県)? Located in the Kanto Region and neighbouring Tokyo on its east, perhaps, unknowingly, you have already stepped foot into Chiba Prefecture. If you...

Carissa Loh Culture

Nuts About Chiba! Exploring Chiba, Peanuts, and...

Have you been to Chiba Prefecture (千葉県)? Located in the Kanto Region and neighbouring Tokyo...

More Than Just Disneyland! Exploring Hidden Gems in Every Corner of Chiba
Sue Lynn

More Than Just Disneyland! Exploring Hidden Gem...

Looking for a short getaway from the bustling crowds of Tokyo? Look no further than the prefecture of Chiba (千葉県). Contrary to the popular belief that “There is nothing much...

Dawn Sim Travel

More Than Just Disneyland! Exploring Hidden Gem...

Looking for a short getaway from the bustling crowds of Tokyo? Look no further than...

Happy Strawberry Day: 5 Must-Try Varieties of Strawberries in Japan
Sue Lynn

Happy Strawberry Day: 5 Must-Try Varieties of S...

Did you know that 15 January is Strawberry Day (イチゴの日 Ichigo-no-hi) in Japan? It comes from a word play on the date (“ichi” = one and “go” = five) and...

Carissa Loh Food

Happy Strawberry Day: 5 Must-Try Varieties of S...

Did you know that 15 January is Strawberry Day (イチゴの日 Ichigo-no-hi) in Japan? It comes...

Ichigo Ichie: Starting the New Year by Embracing Moments in Life
Sue Lynn

Ichigo Ichie: Starting the New Year by Embracin...

As the New Year’s celebrations and confetti settles, we enter the new year with new hopes and wishes. The start of the new year marks a good checkpoint in our...

Wendy Ng Culture

Ichigo Ichie: Starting the New Year by Embracin...

As the New Year’s celebrations and confetti settles, we enter the new year with new...

Seijin no Hi: Exploring Japan’s Coming-of-Age Day
Sue Lynn

Seijin no Hi: Exploring Japan’s Coming-of-Age Day

Seijin-no-Hi (成人の日) or Coming-of-Age Day is an important Japanese National Holiday, observed on the second Monday of January each year. The day serves as a rite of passage, celebrating and...

Carissa Loh Culture

Seijin no Hi: Exploring Japan’s Coming-of-Age Day

Seijin-no-Hi (成人の日) or Coming-of-Age Day is an important Japanese National Holiday, observed on the second...

January Maker’s Story: Chocolates with a Japanese Twist from Edogoshiya
Sue Lynn

January Maker’s Story: Chocolates with a Japane...

"What is a snack that would pair well with Japanese tea and is well-loved by all in Japan?", the makers of Edogoshiya wondered and found themselves in the world of...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

January Maker’s Story: Chocolates with a Japane...

"What is a snack that would pair well with Japanese tea and is well-loved by...

The Wonders of Citrus: 5 Varieties of Citruses Found in Japan
Sue Lynn

The Wonders of Citrus: 5 Varieties of Citruses ...

If you have been to Japan during the colder months between December to February, you will notice the sudden abundance in citruses such as yuzu (柚子・ゆず) and mikan (蜜柑・みかん mandarin...

Sue Lynn Food

The Wonders of Citrus: 5 Varieties of Citruses ...

If you have been to Japan during the colder months between December to February, you...

Ake Ome! Exploring the New Year Celebrations in Japan
Sue Lynn

Ake Ome! Exploring the New Year Celebrations in...

How is the New Year celebrated in Japan?  Let’s take a look at some of the traditions that have been influenced by Shinto, Buddhism, and modern beliefs!

Carissa Loh Culture

Ake Ome! Exploring the New Year Celebrations in...

How is the New Year celebrated in Japan?  Let’s take a look at some of...

Merikuri! Christmas in Japan: Exploring Traditions Old and New
Sue Lynn

Merikuri! Christmas in Japan: Exploring Traditi...

Said to be the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is a holiday celebrated around the world, known as a time to get together with family and friends, and a...

Carissa Loh Festival

Merikuri! Christmas in Japan: Exploring Traditi...

Said to be the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas is a holiday celebrated around...

5 Must-Visit Ski Resorts To Visit Outside of Hokkaido: Exploring Japan's Best Slopes
Sue Lynn

5 Must-Visit Ski Resorts To Visit Outside of Ho...

Have you ever gone skiing or snowboarding in Japan? In Japan, although skiing as a means of transportation had been around for centuries in communities living in high snowfall areas,...

Carissa Loh Winter

5 Must-Visit Ski Resorts To Visit Outside of Ho...

Have you ever gone skiing or snowboarding in Japan? In Japan, although skiing as a...

December Maker's Story: Arida Mikan from Sowa Kajuen
Sue Lynn

December Maker's Story: Arida Mikan from Sowa K...

December is the month of citrus, including mikan or mandarin oranges from Arida! We caught up with Mr. Ueyama (上山) from Sowa Kajuen from Arida City, Wakayama Prefecture to find...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

December Maker's Story: Arida Mikan from Sowa K...

December is the month of citrus, including mikan or mandarin oranges from Arida! We caught...

December Maker’s Story: Yuzu from Umaji Village in Kochi
Sue Lynn

December Maker’s Story: Yuzu from Umaji Village...

Umaji Village is known as the Village of Yuzu! We had a chat with Mr. Iwasada (岩貞) of Umaji Village Agricultural Co-operative, to find out more about the village of...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

December Maker’s Story: Yuzu from Umaji Village...

Umaji Village is known as the Village of Yuzu! We had a chat with Mr....

The Star of Japanese Vineyards: Understanding the Appeal of Kyoho Grapes
Sue Lynn

The Star of Japanese Vineyards: Understanding t...

 Where do Kyoho Grapes originate from? Japan's love for perfection and uniqueness has led to some incredible creations, and their grapes are no exception. Enter Kyoho grapes (巨峰), star-studded grapes...

Snack Lover Autumn

The Star of Japanese Vineyards: Understanding t...

 Where do Kyoho Grapes originate from? Japan's love for perfection and uniqueness has led to...

A Savoury and Sweet Guide to Kirimochi: Exploring Japan's Versatile Rice Cake
Sue Lynn

A Savoury and Sweet Guide to Kirimochi: Explori...

If you're intrigued by Japan’s unique food culture, you've likely heard about mochi (餅), a delightful culinary treat that's steeped in tradition and versatility. This versatile rice cake has a...

Snack Lover Food

A Savoury and Sweet Guide to Kirimochi: Explori...

If you're intrigued by Japan’s unique food culture, you've likely heard about mochi (餅), a...

A Celebration of Colour and Cuisine: Exploring Five of Japan’s Most Beautiful Autumn Destinations
Sue Lynn

A Celebration of Colour and Cuisine: Exploring ...

Unveiling Japan's Autumn Magic There's something undeniably magical about autumn in Japan. As the scorching summer retreats, it gives way to the cooler, softer, and gentler autumn season. The transformation...

Sue Lynn Autumn

A Celebration of Colour and Cuisine: Exploring ...

Unveiling Japan's Autumn Magic There's something undeniably magical about autumn in Japan. As the scorching...

November Maker’s Story: Ragueneau Sasaki from Hirosaki City, Aomori
Sue Lynn

November Maker’s Story: Ragueneau Sasaki from H...

It’s time to “fall” in love with autumn! At JAPAN RAIL CLUB, we are delighted to bring you the flavours of Japan’s autumn in this month’s “Autumn Breeze” Omiyage Snack...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

November Maker’s Story: Ragueneau Sasaki from H...

It’s time to “fall” in love with autumn! At JAPAN RAIL CLUB, we are delighted...

A Beginner's Guide to Aki (秋): The Best Period, Spots, and Tips to Enjoy Japan's Autumn
Sue Lynn

A Beginner's Guide to Aki (秋): The Best Period,...

When is the best time and where are the best places to enjoy autumn in Japan? Here is a beginner’s guide to Japan’s autumn.

Wendy Ng Autumn

A Beginner's Guide to Aki (秋): The Best Period,...

When is the best time and where are the best places to enjoy autumn in...

From Beans to Brew: Exploring Japanese Coffee Culture
Sue Lynn

From Beans to Brew: Exploring Japanese Coffee C...

About Japanese Coffee When people think about beverages from Japan, tea usually comes to mind. But, let's not overlook Japan's robust coffee culture. Coffee, or kōhī (コーヒー) as it's called...

Snack Lover

From Beans to Brew: Exploring Japanese Coffee C...

About Japanese Coffee When people think about beverages from Japan, tea usually comes to mind....

One Ticket to Railway Day, Please: Exploring Japan's Railway History and Present
Sue Lynn

One Ticket to Railway Day, Please: Exploring Ja...

Japan is known for its efficient and extensive railway network, which plays a vital and integral role in the daily lives of millions of people. So it's only fitting that there...

Sue Lynn Festival

One Ticket to Railway Day, Please: Exploring Ja...

Japan is known for its efficient and extensive railway network, which plays a vital and...

Shopfront of a train themed lifestyle shop Trainiart in Tokyo Station
Sue Lynn

October Maker’s Story: Railway Goods from TRAIN...

In line with the theme of “Tetsudo Encounters” this month, it's only fitting that we feature a snack from the shelves of TRAINIART. We recently visited the Gransta Tokyo Station...

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

October Maker’s Story: Railway Goods from TRAIN...

In line with the theme of “Tetsudo Encounters” this month, it's only fitting that we...

Behold the Harvest Moon: Exploring Japan's Otsukimi Festival
Sue Lynn

Behold the Harvest Moon: Exploring Japan's Otsu...

One festival stands out after the succession of extravagant firework and dance festivals as summer draws to a close. From the mesmerising full-moon-viewing practices to savouring delicious tsukimi dango, Otsukimi offers an...

Sue Lynn Festival

Behold the Harvest Moon: Exploring Japan's Otsu...

One festival stands out after the succession of extravagant firework and dance festivals as summer...

Taiyaki
Sue Lynn

The Art of Japanese Sweets: Exploring Tradition...

From the traditional wagashi to modern adaptations, Japanese sweets are a delightful exploration of taste and tradition. Let's embark on a journey to discover the art of Japanese sweets—such as...

Sue Lynn Japanese Snacks

The Art of Japanese Sweets: Exploring Tradition...

From the traditional wagashi to modern adaptations, Japanese sweets are a delightful exploration of taste...

Savour the Ocean: Exploring Must-Try Japanese Seafood Snacks
Sue Lynn

Savour the Ocean: Exploring Must-Try Japanese S...

If there's one thing Japan is known for, it's the country's incredible range of seafood. Surrounded by the sea, Japan's geographic position has significantly influenced its culinary traditions, with seafood...

Snack Lover Japanese Snacks

Savour the Ocean: Exploring Must-Try Japanese S...

If there's one thing Japan is known for, it's the country's incredible range of seafood....

Friendly staff at Japanese snack shop
Sue Lynn

September Maker's Story: Rabbit motif snacks fr...

Hailing from Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Hamausagi has been making rabbit-themed snacks and confections for over 90 years.

Sue Lynn Maker's Story

September Maker's Story: Rabbit motif snacks fr...

Hailing from Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Hamausagi has been making rabbit-themed snacks and confections for over...

japan festival food yakisoba
Sue Lynn

What your favourite Japanese summer festival fo...

During the hot months of July and August, summer festivals (夏祭り natsu matsuri) are held all around Japan where celebrations take shape in the form of mesmerising dances (Awa Odori,...

Sue Lynn Festival

What your favourite Japanese summer festival fo...

During the hot months of July and August, summer festivals (夏祭り natsu matsuri) are held...

5 Exciting Fireworks Festivals in East Japan during Summer
Sue Lynn

5 Exciting Fireworks Festivals in East Japan du...

Summer in Japan is incomplete without a spectacle of fireworks! East Japan, where major cities like Tokyo, Sendai, Nagano, and Yokohama are located, is home to many exciting displays of...

Sue Lynn Summer

5 Exciting Fireworks Festivals in East Japan du...

Summer in Japan is incomplete without a spectacle of fireworks! East Japan, where major cities...

8 reasons why people are buying Japanese snacks
Sue Lynn

8 reasons why people are buying Japanese snacks

Visit Japan and you'll notice the wide array of Japanese snacks that make for the best souvenirs to bring home to your family and friends. From unique flavours to seasonal...

Sue Lynn Japanese Snacks

8 reasons why people are buying Japanese snacks

Visit Japan and you'll notice the wide array of Japanese snacks that make for the...

Marine Day: Exploring Umi no Hi and how it is celebrated in Japan
Sue Lynn

Marine Day: Exploring Umi no Hi and how it is c...

Marine Day, also known as "Umi no Hi" (海の日) in Japan, is a national holiday that celebrates Japan’s ocean and maritime activities. Unlike traditional festivals and holidays that are often...

Sue Lynn Culture

Marine Day: Exploring Umi no Hi and how it is c...

Marine Day, also known as "Umi no Hi" (海の日) in Japan, is a national holiday...