Updated: December 25, 2018
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8 Of The Most Expensive Fruits In Japan

More than any other place on earth, Japan has a vibrant market for luxury fruits. Here are 8 mind-bogglingly pricey fruits you might find in Japan.

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Expensive Fruits In Japan

The Japanese highly value fruits with a perfect outer appearance, a sweet taste, and a large size. In general, the bigger the fruit, the more perfect the skin, and the sweeter the taste, the more expensive the fruit will be. A perfect fruit is seen as a work of art. The finest quality fruits are highly sought after and people are willing to pay high prices for them for many reasons, the main one being that they make excellent presents. The social practice of gift giving in Japan is very important, and giving, for instance, an expensive assortment of luxury fruits is seen as just as appropriate as giving a fine bottle of wine in Western countries.

"Eggs Of The Sun Mangoes" (太陽のタマゴマンゴー)

These mangoes calle "taiyo no tamago" which litterally translates to eggs of the sun, are types of mangoes that are a local specialty of Miyazaki Prefecture, located in the south of Japan on Kyushu island. What makes them special is their high sugar content which is indicated by a sweetness degree called "todo" (糖度). In English, this refers to the Brix measure of fruit sweetness. The higher the number, the sweeter the fruit is. From a level of around 10, the mango is considered sweet to most people. To be classified as an "egg of the sun", as they are called, the sweetness level must be above 15 (very sweet ones can even go up to level 20). Their shape must be perfect and the size must be exceptionally large.
https://www.takashimaya.co.jp/
Takashimaya (a large company operating many department stores in Japan), makes a Mother's Day special for these mangoes. You can buy two extra large ones for ¥16,200.
It's possible to have these mangoes at high-end fruit parlors. This one is from PRINCE of the FRUIT in Fukuoka City.

Square Water Melons

These square watermelons have become emblematic to Japan, however, they are not exclusively found in Japan anymore. The basic method for making them is to make them grow in a box.

The first square watermelons appeared around 1980 in Japan. A farmer from the city of Zentsuji in Kigawa Prefecture claims to have been the originator. His claim is disputed but in any case, Zentsuji, Kigawa Prefecture has become the protected designation of origin of one of the most famous kinds of Japanese square watermelons. There are some strict standards for the watermelons of Zentsuji. They must have a near-perfect cubic shape with sides of approximately 19 cm. High-end fruit shops and department stores buy them for ornamental display. The watermelons also serve as summer gifts. One Zentsuji square watermelon is worth approximately ¥20,000.
Read also the article linked below if you are interested to learn more about square watermelons.

¥600 Bananas

The banana is a staple fruit in many countries because it's delicious, nutritious, and cheap. That's also true in Japan where bananas are quite popular and a bunch of 4-5 of them usually sells for ¥200 or less. There is also a market for bananas of supreme quality. For a single banana, some stores sell them individually packed for about ¥600. A famous store selling them is the Miki Fruits Cafe in Osaka. The bananas are imported from the Philippines. Apparently, there are over 100 varieties of bananas that are commercialized around the world and these are the pinnacle of quality. They are grown at an altitude of 800 meters which is said to be the best for long growth under the Philipines climate. Only the central banana of the bunch, which is longer and said to be sweeter, is used to be sold in high-end fruit stores in Japan. The bananas are also about twice as big as a regular banana.
At Miki Fruits Cafe, you can have some amazing desserts that use these bananas and other expensive fruits. You can also order their product online at the following address if you live in Japan.

Dekopon (デコポン) Citrus Fruit

https://ginza-sembikiya.jp/
The dekopon is a citrus fruit that was developed in Japan in 1972 by the crossing of the ponkan orange and the Kiyomi orange. It is seedless, very sweet, and easily recognizable by its lump. Interestingly, at the early stage of its development, there were doubts that this item could be marketable in Japan because of what was believe to be an unsightly protrusion which ruined the shape of the fruit. In the end, the taste was just too good and the product quickly became widely loved in Japan.
https://ginza-sembikiya.jp
There is even a market now for the most sublime dekapon oranges. You can buy special boxes of 6 that cost over ¥8,000! If you are interested, they are available at a store called Ginza Sembikiya.

"The Best Apple In The World" (世界一りんご)

The name of this apple is literally "the best apple in the world" (sekai ichi ringo). They were developed in Aomori Prefecture, which is known as an excellent apple cultivation area in Japan. The particularity of this apple is its sheer size. They are usually two or three times larger than an average-sized apple. The hugest ones can weigh close to one kilogram. You may see them in expensive fruit shops with a price tag of over ¥2,000.

Black Skin Watermelon (黒スイカ)

These are also called densuke watermelons and are primarily grown in Hokkaido (norther island of Japan). The skin of this melon is entirely black and there are no spots on it because they are grown in a net. Refreshing, sweet and with the perfect texture, this black watermelon can be sold for approximately ¥10,000.
They are often given as presents and can weigh over 12 kg.

Melons

Melons are also extremely popular as a luxury fruit in Japan. They are presented with their stem such as the one pictured above. The shape must simply be perfect to be sold at expensive addresses. The flesh is juicy fragrant and sweet. You can buy this cantaloupe produced in Shizuoka Prefecture for the hefty sum of ¥10,800. This one is also sold by Takashima's online store.

Ruby Roman Grape

Ruby Roman is a kind of huge grape that was developed in Ishikawa Prefecture and registered as a controlled brand of the region. The big Kyoho grapes in Japan were known to be the biggest grapes in the country before the development of the Ruby Roman variety, which has grapes that are about twice as big as the Kyoho ones!
The Ruby Roman is often used as a decorative topping at high-end fruit parlors. It is said to be just as sweet but less sour than the Kyoho grapes that are another type of very popular big-sized grapes. A premium cluster of these Ruby Roman grapes was once sold in a market for an astounding ¥250,000!

Restaurants Mentioned in this Article

    tabikamome
    Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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