Yuzu vs. Lemon: How these Citrus Fruits Differ

Yuzu (柚子) is a plant native to East Asia that belongs to the genus Citrus of the family Rutaceae.

It is a small evergreen tree blooming in May or June, bearing fruit in Autumn, which overlaps with Mikan (蜜柑).

Japan is actually the largest producer and consumer of Yuzu, where the citrus fruit is as familiar as lemon.

Yuzu vs. Lemon

Yuzu Tree with Fruit

But how does a Yuzu differ from a lemon? And further, how do Japanese people use it in daily life?

This article will explain that matter.


Yuzu and lemon are both sour and acidic. But between the two, there is a big difference in aroma. 

While lemon features its refreshing scent, the distinctive Yuzu fragrance helps people relax.

Taste-wise, Yuzu contains plenty of minerals, compared to lemon, and is bitter.

Nutritional Values

Yuzu vs Lemon

Next, based on this online document by the Ministry of Education of Japan, the primary nutritional values of Yuzu and lemon are as follows.

Nutritional Values (Per 100 Grams)
Per 100 Grams Yuzu Peel Yuzu Juice Whole Lemon
Calories 59 kcal 21 kcal 54 kcal
Water 83.7 g 92 g 85.3 g
Protein 1.2 g 0.5 g 0.9 g
Fat 0.5 g 0.1 g 0.7 g
Carbohydrates 14.2 g 7.0 g 12.5 g
Vitamin C 160 mg 40 mg 100 mg
Vitamin E 3.4 mg 0.2 mg 1.6 mg
β-cryptoxanthin 440 μg 15 μg 37 μg

As shown in the table, Yuzu offers plenty of β-cryptoxanthin, compared to lemon.

The component serves as an antioxidant in the human body and prevents the aging of cells.


Yuzu Bath

As for usage, unlike lemon, Yuzu is typically used in the bath for its relaxation effect, for example, in Yuzuyu or bath salts.

Plus, Japanese beverage companies use Yuzu juice almost as often as lemon juice.

Also, you can see Yuzu zest in various Japanese dishes and condiments, such as ramen, Sunomono, Nabemono, Shichimi Togarashi, Yuzu Miso, and Yuzu Kosho.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia ユズ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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