In Japan, it is common to give fresh fruit on special occasions just like how people exchange wines in America. The popularity of gifting means people are always looking for more delicious and beautiful fruits, so there is intense competition among farmers to produce sweet and flawless looking fruit. The competition heats up the price as well, which makes some fruits the most expensive ones in the world. Read on for Japan’s 7 most expensive fruits, and prepare to be amazed by the price tags.
Yubari King Melon: up to $45,000
The Snow Festival is not the only thing that Hokkaido is famous for. In Yubari, Hokkaido, you can find one of the most expensive fruits and the priciest melon in the world called Yubari King Melon. It is a type of cantaloupe and became famous for its high sugar content. Bokksu also introduced Yubari Melon Pure Jelly a few years ago in the Natsubate box. All over Japan, melons are a serious business, from the Crown Melons of Shizuoka Prefecture to the Higo Green Melons grown in Kumamoto Prefecture. Only one type can call itself “king,” and that’s the Yubari King—the ultimate luxury fruit! A top-grade Yubari King Melon has to be perfectly round and have no scars on the rind, and the first harvested pair of perfect Yubari King Melons have been sold for record-breaking prices. In a 2019 auction, a pair was sold for ¥5 million, that’s about $45,000 USD. Japanese people believe that the first harvest of the best quality fruit brings luck to them so they’re the most sought after. Japanese people are so enthusiastic about melon, they also have buns that taste like melon! Check out Natural Yeast Bread: Melon on our website.
Watermelon: up to $6,000
Watermelon is a popular fruit to give gift in the summer. And Japan takes it a step further by increasing the aesthetics (and price) of these melons with special shapes! For example, the Zentsuji watermelon, is a square-shaped watermelon first grown by a farmer in Zentsuji in the 1980s. It became a popular gift and common decoration in Japan at around $80 to $200 for a premium watermelon. Due to the process of turning the watermelon into a cube though, they are inedible and are purely decorative. For those with even more room in their budget, another example is Densuke watermelon. The rind of this watermelon is very distinguishable from other watermelon because its rind is totally black without any stripes. Maybe it’s because it only grows in Hokkaido, but the price of a Densuke watermelon can go up to $6,000, which marks as this Japanese fruit the most expensive watermelon in the world.
Ruby Roman Grape: up to $460 per grape
Can you believe that someone paid $460 for one grape, not one bunch? One bunch of twenty-four Ruby Roman grapes was sold at $11,000 in the 2019 auction in Japan. Ruby Roman grape is a red grape originated from Ishikawa Prefecture, and is strictly inspected in order to be certified a Ruby Roman grape. Each individual grape of a bunch has to be more than 20 grams (0.7 ounce) and has to include at least 18% sugar content. In order to be a “Premium” Ruby Roman grape, each grape should be 30 grams (1 ounce) minimum. Try Japanese grapes with our Puré Gummy Petite. Another equally expensive grape in Japan is the Kyoho grape. It can cost $60 for a bunch of grapes, still not as expensive as Ruby Romans.
Mango: up to $3,744
This probably is the most perfectly shaped mango one can dream of. Although its price can reach up to $3,744, Taiyo no Tamago (the eggs of the sun), an apple mango that is shaped just like an egg is worth giving as a present. It’s much larger than a champagne mango, and is extremely sweet and juicy. It requires intense labor from covering mangos with a net to make a perfect shape, putting a net under the tree to prevent falling, and allowing all of them to get enough sunlight to create that beautiful red color. This Japanese mango was introduced by Miyazaki Prefecture, and has to meet specific criteria set by the Miyazaki Agriculture Economic Federation to be named a “Taiyo no Tamago.” The fact that only a small part of Japan has a subtropical climate contributes to higher price as well.
Apple: $21 an apple
Sekai (世界, world)-ichi (一, first) apple is a unique apple sizewise and pricewise. The Sekai-ichi apple can grow up to two pounds and is sold at around $21. This apple was invented in 1974 in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture and became popular because of its large size and delicious flavor. Farmers hand-pollinate them and inspect them by hand before sale. Now this Japanese apple is usually grown in Aomori Prefecture, Japan’s apple capital. It is recommended to eat as is, and goes well with other citrus fruits as well as sweets such as caramel and honey. If you’re a fan of apples, try out some apple-infused Japanese snacks and tea like Apple Cooler Cold Brew Tea or Aomori Apple Caramel Yakkoi Sable.
Strawberry: up to $10 a berry
Strawberries in Japan are awesome. Maybe that is why our white strawberry is one of the most popular snacks in Bokksu. Japan’s love for strawberries is so intense that they invented more than 300 types of strawberries through crossbreeding. Among the 50 types of strawberries that are available on the market, some rarities are quite high-priced. One example is Shirou Houseki or “White Jewel” strawberry, which has white skin. In order to produce this color, the farmer has to limit the amount of sunlight it gets to prevent it from becoming red. Even with this effort, only 10% stays white, so this strawberry costs up to $10 each. To discover the taste of Japanese strawberries, check out our strawberry snacks. Can you imagine eating a delicious and luxurious white strawberry parfait during the Tanabata Festival?
Taste Japanese Strawberry with Bokksu!
Taste Japanese Strawberry with Bokksu!
Cherry: up to $7 per cherry
Yamagata Prefecture is the most famous cherry-growing region in Japan. Fruiting cherry trees were first introduced to Japan during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), and after several years of failure, Japan discovered that Yamagata has the perfect climate for cherries. Ever since, Yamagata has been intensively growing cherries. Among all Japanese cherries, Sato Nishiki is the most popular cherry for its long shelf life, pretty look and amazing flavor. Due to its advantages, one cherry can cost up to $7.