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Expensive Fruit

19 Sep

Japan has a reputation for having extremely expensive fruit. You can see people talking on the internet about $100 watermelons and $40 apples in Japan.

This is true. You can find fruit sold for those prices in Japan…but it’s not the normal case.
Usually fruit is sold at normal prices here.

“So, what’s up with the overpriced fruit?” you may wonder.

Those are premium fruits sold to be given as gifts. The best fruit of the season to give someone on a special occasion.

This gift メロン (melon; cantaloupe) sells for 一万円 (¥10,000 (US $90)).

A premium cantaloupe (melon), like the one in the photo above, or apples, pears, tangerines, grapes, peaches, or almost any other fruit can be found priced at about ¥4,000 – ¥30,000 (US $35 – $280) in Japan.

As I mentioned, these fruit items are given to people on special occasions.

Of course, people normally eat “regular” fruit, which can be purchased from the supermarket or a fruit stand at normal prices.

There are many occasions to give gifts in Japan.

    A few examples:

  • When you move into a new house, you give a small gift to your neighbors and introduce yourself (as opposed to the custom in America that is the other way around: people there give the new neighbor a gift).
  • When you go to a wedding or funeral in Japan, you give a gift of money in a special envelope.
  • New Years money to children.
  • When visiting someone (at their home, in a hospital, etc).
  • At the start of a new season (beginning of Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn), people often give friends a special gift box of coffee, beer, soap, etc.
  • At birthdays and Christmas, of course.
  • When someone does something special for you.
  • To “repay” someone who gave a gift to you.
  • When you return from a trip.

There are other occasions that Japanese give gifts…these are just some of the common ones.