Expensive Melons

These expensive musk melons cost over $400. Expensive gifts of fruit like these are usually given to valued customers or people who have helped you out in some way.web analytics

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11 Responses to “Expensive Melons”

  1. razzbuffnik Says:

    As perfect as they look, I’d prefer the money.

  2. Conall Says:

    Are the melons especially tasty or unique in any way? Other than the gold labels and ribbons?

    http://www.chickenmonkeydog.com

  3. qjphotos Says:

    I think this article will answer your question:

    For Japanese department stores and special vendors like Senbikiya, luxury fruit belongs to a special product categorythat exists almost exclusively for givers of gifts. Gift fruit – which can include grapes, cherries, peaches and pears – is cultivated in a special way, different from ordinary, everyday fruit.

    “Japan is probably the only country in the world where you have fruit as a gift concept,” said Ushio Ooshima, a director at Senbikiya, whose main store in Nihonbashi alone sells 40 to 50 high-priced melons a day and as many as 200 a day during the mid-year and end-year gift-giving seasons. At Senbikiya, “99 percent of the purchases here are for gift,” Ooshima said. In the culture of gift giving, a melon may be offered as a special present to an important client, to a person to whom a debt of gratitude is owed, or to a sick friend as a get-well gesture.

    The exceptional prices reflect exceptional methods used in growing the fruit. While an ordinary melon in a grocery stores rarely costs more than $5, the high-priced version, usually a variety of musk melon, is nurtured by special growers in specific locations, of which Shizuoka prefecture and Hokkaido are two of the best known.

    In Shizuoka, west of Tokyo, melons are farmed in sophisticated green houses, complete with air-conditioners that fine-tune the temperate to optimal levels day and night. Melon vines are planted and cultivated in a soil bedding that is separated from the ground, said Tsuneo Anma, general secretary of a growers’ group based in Fukuroi city that produces the “Crown” brand of melons. Producing 3.5 million melons annually, the agricultural cooperative is the biggest specialty-melon grower in Japan.

    The soil separation is necessary to regulate moisture levels. “The moisture uptake by the tree roots must be optimized to promote proper amount of photosynthesis,” Anma said. “If trees are planted in the ground, the roots will grow unregulated,” making moisture absorption difficult to control.

    Growers trim the vines so that only three melons will grow on each tree. When the baby melons grow to the size of a human fist, two are chopped off to allow the most promising one to monopolize all the nourishment from the vine. That one melon is expected to mature into the juicy, beautiful and revered $100 dollar fruit.

    How different does the high-priced melon taste from an ordinary one? “They are definitely different, from the scent of it to the texture of it,” said Shigeko Hoshi who lives in Tokyo and occasionally eats the expensive fruit when her family receives one as a gift. “The sweetness is exquisitely balanced with the sourness of it.”

    Many Japanese consider the special melon, like the special grape, cherry or pears, to be the perfect gift, set apart by its aura of luxury and added value from what is otherwise a mass-produced organic product.

    “People go, ‘What a difference does a gift melon make,”‘ Ooshima said. “People usually don’t eat the very best for themselves. They set it aside for others as a gift,” which is the very essence of Japanese gift-giving.

    The ¥20,000 melon is the pick of the crop produced in the hothouses of Fukuroi.

    “Less than 1 percent of the melons we grow qualify as ‘fuji,”‘ said Anma, referring to the top grading, which combines the greatest potential for taste with a perfect shape and appearance. “They need to look perfectly round with the mesh-like surface pattern impeccably even.”

    While melons are the most expensive luxury fruit as a category, even fuji-grade melons can be out-priced by out-of-season fruits, Ooshima, of Senbikiya said. Cherries in winter, from Yamagata prefecture in northern Japan, can fetch a ¥50,000 price tag for just 300 grams, or 10 ounces.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/11/28/features/rluxfruit.php

  4. Conall Says:

    Wow! That is definitely a lot of effort…I feel like I could not possibly enjoy the fruit taste so much more than regular melon, so as to justify the price tag, but maybe…maybe….

    And as a gift I guess it is more about the gesture than the actual value one derives from the gift.

    Thanks for the follow-up.

    http://www.chickenmonkeydog.com

  5. A girl’s right to fruit Says:

    [...] But in Tokyo, I have to pay 880JPY (USD9.40) for one small watermelon and 580JPY (USD6.80) for a tiny cantaloupe that can be devoured in one sitting. But I don’t — because it’s a treat. Obviously they are in season or they wouldn’t have come down from their previous lofty price of 3,500JPY (USD37). And these weren’t the uber-expensive ones that are meant as gifts. [...]

  6. James hall Says:

    I was in Japan, I saw 20 strawberry in a box, individually wrapped like See’s candy. The asking price is $20.00

    One Orange also individually wrapped, ask for $5.00

    Everything is expensive in Japan, more expensive than U.S. that is for sure….

  7. jessica Says:

    I think there more expensive because those types of fruits and melons are not grown in japan. so they have to import them from here, the usa, to get them. the shipping and importing them probably cost a lot for them. so thats my theory on why they may be so overpriced.

    • qjphotos Says:

      Thanks for your comment. Of course, there could be a lot of reasons for the high prices, but as this quote from a newspaper article says,

      “The exceptional prices reflect exceptional methods used in growing the fruit. While an ordinary melon in a grocery stores rarely costs more than $5, the high-priced version, usually a variety of musk melon, is nurtured by special growers in specific locations, of which Shizuoka prefecture and Hokkaido are two of the best known.

      In Shizuoka, west of Tokyo, melons are farmed in sophisticated green houses, complete with air-conditioners that fine-tune the temperate to optimal levels day and night. Melon vines are planted and cultivated in a soil bedding that is separated from the ground, said Tsuneo Anma, general secretary of a growers’ group based in Fukuroi city that produces the “Crown” brand of melons. Producing 3.5 million melons annually, the agricultural cooperative is the biggest specialty-melon grower in Japan.”

      http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/11/28/features/rluxfruit.php

  8. Robert Says:

    Actually, it depend when you buy them. on Ameyocho market, you cant buy 8-10 big strawberries for 400yen, japan grown. Grapes, aroudn 800y for 4 pounds, or 10 bananas for 400yen.

    but i know that in groceries store, it is sooooooo overpriced!

  9. İzmir Davetiye Says:

    Are the melons especially tasty or unique in any way? Other than the gold labels and ribbons?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Japanese are just plain stupid.They equate quality with price. There is no reason on earth for a melon to cost over 4 hundred bucks. If a gullible rich Japanese is willing to buy it, then good for him. But there is no rationale in this world for that melon to cost that much…..none period. The same for $150,000 handbag. The designer houses are laughing their way to the bank. So many gullible rich people, who don’t know what to do with their money.
    I


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