fruits and prices in japan
Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

In Japan, you may find unusual fruits with outrageous price tags attached to them.

A few hundred dollars for a square watermelon, perhaps, or maybe $400 for a single bunch of grapes. One such fruit is the Yubari King melon. In 2017, a pair of melons sold for over $26,000, which broke a previous record of more than $23,000. However, the stratospheric five-digit selling prices are often publicity stunts carried out by corporations that know they’ll receive free advertising if they spend an outrageous amount on something. Even so, ultra-premium specimens fetch such a high sum because of their perfection and the care with which they’re raised. The skin features no blemishes and both the seller and farmer often wear white gloves when handling the produce. At the beginning of the melon’s life cycle, the farmers ensure that the best seeds are chosen, and then remove all but one of the flower buds on the vine to ensure that the melon won’t have to compete with other fruits for nutrients. They’re generally grown in greenhouses in soil rich with volcanic ash, are often pollinated by hand and can be grown in individual boxes for protection. The melon is valued for its sweetness and even less perfect ones can sell for anywhere between $50 and $200.

How Japanese Melons become Luxury Fruits