Know Umeshu

The story of the plum which is used for Umeshu


Everyone knows that Umeshu is made from plums. But how much do you know about the plums that used to make Umeshu?

This blog will tell you some knowledge about plums and introduce some famous varieties of plum and characteristics of different plums which are used in different Umeshu.

  • About Plum

Plum is a plant belonging to the Rosaceae family, and is mainly produced in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. Plums, which have been popular for a long time ,are said to be particularly nutritious among fruits. 

You may often hear that organic acids such as citric acid, malic acid, and succinic acid are included in plums.

In addition, it contains plenty of minerals such as protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, and C!

Plum also has beauty effects, fatigue recovery effects, appetite promotion effects, bactericidal effects, liver function enhancement, constipation relief, anemia prevention, analgesic effects, and anti-allergic effects. It’s amazing plum has so many benefits! 

Therefore, Umeshu, which is made from plums, has these benefits too.

  • Some Famous Varieties of plum 

What is particularly important in making umeshu is the variety of plum. 

It is said that there are more than 300 varieties of plum in Japan.Therefore, it is common that the plum varieties and production areas are different for each Umeshu.

Plum can be categorized according to size and maturity.For example, some varieties are suitable for making Umeshu, and some varieties are not suitable for making Umeshu but are suitable to be used for pickled plums and ume jam.

Now, let’s take a look at the varieties of plum that are commonly used along with their production areas.

  • Nanko Ume

Main production areas: Wakayama Prefecture, Kagoshima Prefecture, etc.

It is the traditional plum for making Umeshu! Nanko Ume is Japan’s premier plum brand.

And it is characterized by its thin skin, small seeds, and soft flesh.

  • Oshuku

Main production areas: Nara Prefecture, etc.

This variety of plum has hard and green flesh, and sour, refreshing extracts.

  • Gojiro

Main production areas: Wakayama Prefecture, etc.

This variety of plum is also suitable for making Umeshu. 

It is firmer than other variety of plum such as Nanko-ume, so it releases a lot of extracts and does not fall apart during pickling. 

However, it is very difficult to cultivate. So it is now a rare plum variety.

  • Shirakaga

Main production areas: Ibaraki Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, Nara Prefecture, etc.

It is the most produced plum in Japan.

Shirakaga is large, but its seed is small and the flesh is thick.

  • Bungo

Main production areas: Aomori Prefecture, Nagano Prefecture, etc.

Bungo is an unripe plum that grows even in cool climates, and is characterized by its light yellow-green, firm and large fruit. 

It also can be obtained until the latest season in Japan.


There are many varieties of plum in Japan.

The flavor and aroma of plums, which are the core of Umeshu, change greatly depending on the production area and the plum variety.

Each brand has its own characteristics and merits, so when buying Umeshu, you can pay attention to the production area and variety of plum.

About Umeshu Lovers

Made with the finest ume plums from Japan, Umeshu is an apéritif with a sweet-sour flavour.  

Known commonly as “Japanese Plum Wine”, Umeshu is among the most well-known alcoholic beverages in Japan and is slowly gaining popularity worldwide.  

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