Home > Japan > How Much Are Your Melons?

How Much Are Your Melons?

You may think there is some sexual innuendo here, but no. I’m talking about watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydews, etc. Again, not sex, just fruit. Yes, the fruit mostly made of water. The summertime snack always seen at barbecues and in refrigerators. Well, in Japan these things are usually luxury items because the climate and land availability just don’t allow for large harvests. That said, we do get them. And guess how much they go for…?

If you can read that price tag you will see the answer. If not, it says 650,000 yen. And that’s just for one. Albeit a rare kind, as 650,000 yen watermelons usually are. “This is the highest price on record for a Densuke watermelon, and that probably means it’s the highest of any watermelon in Japanese history,” said Kazuyoshi Ohira, a spokesman for the Toma Agricultural Cooperative. If you click to the story – “Black Watermelon Fetches Record ¥650,000 In Hokkaido” – you’ll also see that earlier in the year a pair of Yubari cantaloupes sold for 2,500,000 yen. Food prices really are skyrocketing. That said, these brands, Densuke and Yubari are quite rare so the harvest is usually low. You can see these brand name fruits in department stores (3rd floor – Expensive/Gourmet Fruits) and supermarkets selling for a common 20,000 to 30,000 yen. The reason these watermelons are so expensive, Mr. Ohira said is,

Its unusual black skin…Inside, the watermelon is crisp and hard…It has unparalleled taste…It’s a watermelon, but it’s not the same…It has a different level of sweetness.

I just wrote about how some towns are going bankrupt, and how places in Hokkaido are giving away land in a mission to rejuvenate dying municipal economies (see “So Much They’re Giving It Away”). Well someone in Hokkaido has money. According to the story the person who bought this Densuke watermelon is a marine products dealer who “wanted to support local agriculture.” That’s a way to support local agriculture alright. But instead of having a huge feast fit for a king, or freezing the darn thing so he can marvel at his prize, he is going to turn around sell it. “The dealer said he plans to resell the fruit in an Internet auction.” And the crazy thing is, someone will probably buy it. I’m sure there’s a Russian billionaire who has cash to toss around. I hope this marine dealer takes that money and re-invests in his local economy.

So the next time you’re walking through the fruit isle stop and take note about how much your melons are costing. I promise you they can’t be as lofty as those in Japan. And who said Japanese melons were small? They certainly have the price tag to back up the size.


  1. keepingnote
    June 7, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Melon insanity!

  2. dkzody
    June 25, 2008 at 3:29 am

    There is always someone with money…here in California, even though gas prices are skyrocketing, people are still driving 80+ miles per hour down Interstate 5 in their large SUVs. There is still plenty of money.

  3. June 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Dear dkzody,

    I agree with you. Never ceases to amaze me the money out there. At what point I wished some of it would flow my way, but then again I know you should be careful what you wish for. My life is content so no worries.

    Thanks for the comment.


  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: