Tired of the same old apples and bananas?  Looking to top your corn flakes with something really special?  Well, cash in that 401k and fly on over to Japan to sample these unique fruit:

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!YUBARI KING MELONS

A hybrid of two cantaloupes (Earl’s Favorite and Burpee’s Spicy), the Yubari King Melon hails from Hokkaido, Japan where they are grown in special greenhouses, each fruit (one to a vine – the rest are pruned) is outfitted with a  special hat to guard them from the sun.  They are usually sold in pairs but you can snag a single for a mere $100.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!RUBY ROMAN GRAPES

Grown in Ishikawa prefecture, these ping-pong-sized grapes are sold under strict conditions.  Each must weigh over 20 grams and have a sugar content of over 18%.  Instead of splurging on a bunch, start with a solitary grape – that will set you back about $250.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!


Earlier this year, a pair of these prized mangoes sold for a record $3000 at auction and then were promptly airlifted from Miyazaki in southern Japan to a department store in Fukoaka where they went on sale.  The average person can pick up one of these mangoes – that must weigh in at a minimum 350 grams and possess a sugar content of over 15% – for about $50.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!


These orange/mandarin hybrids were only available in Japan until several years ago.  They are grown in large greenhouses and then left to sit for 20-40 days after harvesting to mellow their citric character while allowing their sweetness to build. A half dozen will set you back about $80.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!SEKAI-ICHI APPLES

Sekai-Ichi Apples translates to “World’s Best Apples”.  They are pollinated by hand and washed with honey.  In comparison to the other fruit on this list, a single apple is a steal at a little over $20.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!SQUARE WATERMELON

Grown in tempered glass boxes to ensure their perfectly cubic form, they are incredibly practical: easily stackable and an easy fit for small Japanese refrigerators.  Recent alternate versions include heart-shaped and pyramid varieties.  Get your own for $200 a pop.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!DENSUKE BLACK WATERMELON

Also grown in Hokkaido where a mere 100 are farmed each year, they are renown for their crispness and sweetness.   They go for as much as $5000 but, if you’re lucky, you may be able to find one at your local Sembikya fruit store for the rock bottom price of $200.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!


Referred to as “Hatsukoi no kaori” (Scent of First Love), these beautiful strawberries are possessed of a high sugar content and run about $5 each.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!


Or, you can settle for a box of plump red strawberries from Saga, Japan.  Get your friends to chip in and pick up a box for $30.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!GOKUSEN BANANAS

These $6 bananas weigh in at a hefty 200 grams and come packaged with serial numbers in their own special boxes.

July 20, 2014: Eat Your (expensive) Fruit!OKAYAMA WHITE PEACHES

$40 will get you one of these luscious, premium peaches grown in Okayama Prefecture in western Japan (a.k.a. The Land of Sunshine).

19 thoughts on “July 20, 2014: Eat your (expensive) fruit!

  1. Even the lowliest fruit stand in Yokosuka had fancy expensive items. Mostly purchased by businessmen to impress other business men. I always wondered if anyone actually eats these.
    Best bet was to become friendly with the greengrocer, and buy the day old fruit which was under the counter.

  2. I’d never touch my 401(k) for fruit! But I might cash in my Nephew’s 529(b) college savings plan. He’ll never know….heh, heh, heh. Just kidding, of course. Or am I?

  3. Just get me a couple seeds and I will try to grow my own! I think the square watermelon is cool.

  4. Seems like an awful lot of money to spend on something that’s just gonna get flushed down the loo the next morning…


  5. We had a Japanese foreign exchange student stay with our family about 20 years ago and I remember that we couldn’t feed him enough fruit! Even then, he said a cantaloupe cost about $100 US in Japan. We fed him enough fruit to last for a lifetime!

  6. I cannot even imagine those prices. Wow. No. I once had a glass of $1800 and $4000 wine. I frankly couldn’t have told you the difference between either of them and the “cheap” $200 wine served. But interesting.

  7. Very interesting! You could have also called this list: Fruit Jim Will Never Eat!

  8. Those are beautiful fruits! Is it because they are unusual that they are expensive or is all fruit expensive there? LIke Deni, I wonder how many you’ve had?

    I saw a film on square watermelons a few years ago. They grow the watermelon in a square form. I’ve never tried it but it looked easy. You didn’t show them but there are square tomatoes too. Very convenient for sandwiches I would imagine!

    Loved the pictures yesterday!

  9. Jeez – I can’t believe the prices of fruit in Japan! Please tell me that there is also ‘standard’ fruit at the normal prices, ’cause if there isn’t, 1/3 of my normal would disappear if I went to Japan!

  10. Yeah….the square watermelon looks cool. Do not like any of the prices though. Guess we have to appreciate what we have. BUT….tasteless tomatoes (grow your own), watery or kinda almost spoiled mangoes, etc.
    BUT…the honey crisp apples are gems!

  11. I still remember my wtf? face when I saw the square watermelons in Urban Fare in Coal Harbour…not paying that amount to try one for sure..

    I prefer to enjoy my fresh summer Kentish cherries atm..in season, sweet and totally delicious…and at £3 a lb not going to cripple my bank balance…

  12. Thank goodness I’m allergic to most fruit, saves me tons of money evidently.

    Oh and here’s a random bit of analysis of why SGA went off the air in a discussion of today’s slash fandoms:

    Stargate: Atlantis enjoyed decent ratings and a stolidly middle-aged fanbase that had supported the franchise for over a decade. It also had a major cult following within slash fandom because of the popularity of the slash pairing of John Shepard and Rodney McKay, a.k.a. McShep. McShep fans helped give the series a longer life and solid DVD sales into its fifth season. But unexpectedly, the show was canceled, not because ratings were poor, but because producers wanted to “broaden” the franchise’s “core fanbase.”

    In other words, since the fanbase was too middle-aged, too female, and too prone to writing slashfic, the whole show had to go. The fanbase was so upset at SGA’s cancellation that Stargate: Universe, intended to be its younger, hotter sibling, crashed and burned in its first season. The franchise hasn’t been back on the air since.


  13. Those strawberries are beautiful. Such as contrast wth South America where we had all of the above growing throughout the neighborhood and the costliest thing about snagging one was escaping our angry neighbors. We were literal fruit ninjas as kids.

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