Awaji onions in a pile
Food - Drink
Japan's Awaji Island Is Renowned For Its Ultra-Sweet Onions
Japan's Awaji Island in the Seto Inland Sea is home to many icons: the dazzling 14th-century Sumoto Castle, a Godzilla-themed amusement park, and the divinely sweet Awaji onion.
The Awaji onion is notable for its lack of pungency; juicy, crispy texture; and unparalleled sweetness, which clocks in at a 9 on the sugar scale, while most onions rate about a 7.
Although Awaji Island has long been a major food producer, yellow onions weren't introduced until the 1880s. They flourished thanks to the well-drained, mineral-rich soil.
Today, Awaji Island is one of Japan’s top onion-producing areas, and come summer, the island smells of alliums and is awash with fireflies attracted to the onions' minerals.
The onions grow year-round, but are primarily harvested in the spring and fall, with spring onions or “shin-tamanegi” having a slightly spicy bite along with their sweetness.
The island pays homage to its onions with a large onion sculpture and an arcade-style claw game at Uzu no Oka Oonarutokyou Memorial Hall, where you can fish for your own onion.