Kaki is thought to be native to China. But that was introduced into Europe through Japan, therefore, that is widely known as "kaki" in the world and the word is used in the scientific name of Kaki. In Japan, Wakayama and Nara Prefecture are major production areas of Kaki.
There are many varieties of Kaki but that is roughly classified into Ama-gaki[甘柿（あまがき）] which can be eaten raw and Shibu-gaki[渋柿（しぶがき）] which is other than Ama-gaki.
Ama-gaki is thought to be a mutation of Shibu-gaki. Ama-gaki is hard to cultivate as a fruit in cold areas. As popular varieties of Ama-gaki, there are Fuyū-gaki[富有柿（ふゆうがき）] and Jirō-gaki[次郎柿（じろうがき）]. The fruit has mild taste and refined sweetness. Ama-gaki can be eaten as not only a fruit but dishes such as Kaki-namasu[柿なます](That is a vinegared and mixed raddish and Kaki.).
Shibu-gaki is mainly cultivated in cold areas. Raw fruit of Shibu-gaki has an astringent taste. The astringency can be removed by boiling or soaking in alcohol but it is mainly made into Hoshi-gaki[干し柿（ほしがき）] that is a dried Kaki. That is dried as by hanging under the eaves. Hoshigaki of Ichida-gaki[市田柿（いちだがき）] from Takamori[高森（たかもり）] Town, Nagano Prefecture is well-known brand. Anpo-gaki[あんぽ柿] is a half-dried Hoshi-gaki and that has a soft and wet texture.
Fermented juice of immature Shibu-gaki is called "Kaki-shibu[柿渋（かきしぶ）]". Kaki-shibu contains much tannin and therefore, that has antiseptic, anti-insect and waterproof effects. It has been used as a coating for lumber and Wa-gasa[和傘（わがさ）](Japanese traditional umbrella).
Leaves of Kaki that have a sterilizing effect is used for Kaki-no-ha-zushi[柿の葉寿司（かきのはずし）] that is a sushi with an ingredient such as mackerel wrapped with leaves of Kaki. That is specialty of Wakayama and Nara Prefecture.