Japan Goes Bananas Over Eye-Watering Fruit Prices

How much money could you make a fruit salad for? A few dollars is what we're guessing - at least that's what we paid in the store the other day. But if you're making a fruit salad in Japan, it turns out you'd need to win the lottery first - which is what we've come to realise from the reports we’ve read recently.

How much are those melons in the window?

There's nothing like adding a bit of tropical flavour to a fruit salad with a piece or two of melon. Papaya, sweet melon, paw paw - they all go down a treat. If you're buying melon in Japan though, you'll need to take out a bond first, as recently a pair of ripe melons went on auction for an unbelievable 1.5 million yen ($12,400). Want to know what else you could buy for that? A luxury car, that's what.

The pricy pair was bought by a local fruit wholesaler, and while it turns out they're a prime example of Yubari melons, a status symbol prized by the Japanese, they're still way over our grocery budget for the month. Or for the next ten years, in fact.

japanese mangoes

But the exorbitant costs don't stop there - because it seems that sky-high prices are par for the course when it comes to Japanese fruit auctions. An apple will set you back more than $3, while if you're in the mood for cherries, you may want to hold that thought - unless you have over $100 for a punnet. At this rate it might be cheaper just to eat solid gold.

Bunch of grapes sets record price

Remember the last time you opened the fridge and snuck a few grapes as a snack? Again if you were in Japan, you might have to pawn half your possessions to do so - as a recently a bunch of grapes went under the hammer for the record-breaking price of 1 million yen ($8,200). At a whopping $315 per grape, those had better be seriously tasty - and hand-peeled to boot!

japanese grapes

Of course these aren't your ordinary, run-of-the-mill grapes - these are Ruby Roman grapes, each one the size of a ping pong ball. Previously a bunch of the same grapes sold at auction for 550,000 yen, so it seems locals are used to having to spend their life savings just to afford one. Although if that's what one small grape costs, we'd hate to see what an orange would set you back.

If you're interested in a few mangoes to go along with those grapes though, you'd better have a spare $2,000 on you - because that's what two (yes, two) mangoes from the Miyazaki prefecture in Japan recently sold for. Our fruit salad is getting more and more costly by the minute.

It seems the Japanese are used to foreigners being shocked by the high prices of their produce. Actually we're more shocked by the fact that people with so much money choose to spend it on fruit. Sure, you can't put a price on good nutrition, but you can put one on a French chateau - and that's what we'd rather go for instead. Which is why when you see us playing the lotto, you can be sure we're playing for the home of our dreams, rather than a mid-morning snack.

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