Fine fruits of Japan

I love a juicy piece of fresh fruit as much as the next person, but Japan takes fruit to the next level. One of the most interesting concepts we observed during our visit there was the luxury fruit market, which elevates produce to works of art.

During our food tour in Tokyo, our guide took us into Sembikiya for our first introduction to high-end fruit grocers, and we returned later for a closer look around. Founded in 1834 by samurai Benzo Ohshima, Sembikiya has been transformed by Ohshima’s descendants into the largest and oldest purveyor of the country’s finest produce. The most expensive too — a bunch of grapes will set you back $65 USD and their signature muskmelons have fetched nearly $28,000 USD each at auction. The presentation is pristine, although certainly not environmentally friendly with all the individually plastic wrapped items.

Interestingly, over 80% of customers at Sembikiya and other luxury markets shop for the fruit as gifts, especially during the customary Japanese gift-giving seasons in July and December. It is not unusual for a respected boss, teacher, or family member to receive a prime selection of fruits as an expression of gratitude.

So does it taste as good as it looks? We could only afford to part with $12 USD for a couple mandarin oranges. Finest orange I’ve ever had, or at least the most expensive!

10 responses to “Fine fruits of Japan”

  1. jasonlikestotravel Avatar

    Wow, some of those prices are ridiculous! Looks good but no matter how good they taste you won’t see me paying $65 on some grapes haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I could bear to eat them if I’d spent that much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love oranges from Wakayama!! It is addictive 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a pretty good orange 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard of ridiculously-priced fruits from YouTuber Mike Chen, who actually bought one of the melons for over $100 USD. Never thought that fruit would be so expensive, but they are apparently! Did you buy any whilst in Japan? Would’ve been a delicious souvenir to have haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we tried a couple of the mandarin oranges! And I love Mikey Chen. I watched a bunch of his YouTube videos in preparation for this trip, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same! I especially followed Mike Chen in preparation for my trip to Turkey last year. Really helped a lot!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. lol – everything always has to have its own wrapper!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gorgeous to look at, but as you suggested, it made my heart ache for the environment! Individually wrapped bananas?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That one is the most illogical, bananas have a beautiful natural wrapping!

      Liked by 1 person

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