Don’t whine about the price: Japan grapes sell for $8,000

Friday, July 10th, 2015. Filed under: Destinations Food & Dining Home & Garden Offbeat


(Tokyo-AFP) – A bunch of Japanese grapes has sold for a record one million yen ($8,200), or $315 per berry — no trifling matter even in a country where fruit can cost a small fortune.

The record-setting bunch of 26 “Ruby Roman” grapes was the highest-priced at this year’s first auction in Kanazawa, 300 kilometres (180 miles) northwest of Tokyo, smashing the previous record of 550,000 yen set last year.

Each berry weighs at least 20 grams (three-quarters of an ounce) and is the size of a ping-pong ball, according to the local board of agriculture.

Winning bidder Masayuki Hirai, head chef of the Nikko hotel in Kanazawa, told media he had been under strict orders, with local tourism chiefs eager to capitalise on a new train line to the area.

“With the opening of the Hokuriku shinkansen (bullet train) line, I was told to win the bidding at any cost,” he said.

For connoisseurs of eye-wateringly-priced fruit, Japan is Seventh Heaven.

Earlier this year, a pair of Yubari melons from Hokkaido, northern Japan — considered a status symbol — were snapped up for a jaw-dropping 1.5 million yen.

Meanwhile, a Japanese department store thought nothing of shelling out 300,000 yen for a pair of pristine mangoes grown in southern Japan.

Japanese often give top-notch fruits such as melons as gifts, and virgin batches often sell for extraordinary prices, making national headlines and creating a lucrative market for fruit boutiques to flourish despite Japan’s sluggish economy.

Square and even heart-shaped watermelons are all the rage and, while 38,000 per grape is extreme, many Japanese will happily pay through the nose for fruit — even the regular round-shaped variety.

Single white peaches the size of a newborn baby’s head can go for more than 2,000 yen while a bunch of Muscat of Alexandria grapes could lighten your wallet to the tune of a cool 7,000 yen.

Related posts

Apple and pecan pie-flavored whiskies make its debutChill out – literally and figuratively – with hemp ice creamNew service will deliver Michelin-starred meals to Londoners’ doors‘The Kitchen’ star Katie Lee shares her tips for easy summer entertainingEel-flavored soda to launch in JapanOutrageous chocolate Easter bunny costs $49,000 thanks to diamond eyesPhysics of food shows secrets of popcornUS is top wine consuming country by volume, Italy leads per capitaLook for vanilla-flavored cheddar and turmeric-infused ginger ale in 2015Three-year-old slice of royal wedding cake sells for $6,000Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy star as FarmVille winemaking avatarsBrace yourselves: Mountain Dew testing Doritos-flavored fizzy drinkEngland gets its first cereal-themed breakfast cafeSolidified vinegar and at-home beer brewing kits win innovation awardsCookbook spotlight: Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty More’Chef Joel Robuchon to release cookbook for well-beingHungry? Jones Soda launches a peanut butter and jelly beverageKickstarter potato salad guy to host spud party in TorontoCookie dough butters and smoked pickles to trend this yearFlavor contest includes coffee-flavored potato chips