Earlier this week, a pair of rare Yubari melons was sold in an auction in Japan for a record breaking 3.2 million yen, or the equivalent of $29,300. The fruit serves as a status symbol in the country, and they are likely to be given as a symbolic gift for a very special person or a very special occasion. But the price for just two pieces of fruit has sent the internet reeling.
Seasonal fruit in Japan attract massive amounts of money from buyers that are looking for social prestige, or shop owners that want to attract and impress their customers with such extravagant fare. The winning bid for the melons was placed by local fruit packaging firm for the first Yubari melons that have been placed under auction at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in Hokkaido. The amount paid for the pair of fruit was enough to purchase a car or a small home in Japan. The price exceeded the previous record, which was 3 million yen set two years go.
“Yubari melons are growing well this year as sunshine hours have been long since early May,” said market official Tatsuro Shibuta. Yubari melons are considered to be the best melons in the world. The highest quality Yubari melons are perfect spheres with smooth and even patterns on its rind. These fruits are carefully wrapped and often sold in an ornate box. Expensive fruits are not rare in Japan. There are strawberries, grapes, and even apples that have been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the market auction houses.