When you travel around Tokyo or other parts of Japan, you will see some small fruit vendors and fruit stalls as well as sections in the food section of the big department stores that have fruit on display with ridiculous prices. You will see watermelon selling for 3000 Yen or more (US$30 or A$38), cantaloupe / rock melon selling for 5000 Yen (US$50 or A$64), a small bunch of grapes for 2000 Yen, or even a single large apple selling for 300 Yen (US$3 for 1 apple).
Fruit prices in Japan are some of the most expensive fruit in the world but these prices you see are not for your average fruit. The fruit you see on display in Tokyo and Japan at these really high prices are special fruit which is bought and given to friends and family as special gifts. This sort of highly prized fruit is especially given to people when you visit them in hospital or for other special occasions.
You can go to a supermarket and buy fruit that is grown on mass produced farm and the prices are much lower than these prices. The fruit prices in Japan is higher than most places around the world as Japan has a very small percentage of land that is available for growing produce. This super high priced fruit are actually grown on special boutique farms where the farmer spends alot of extra time caring for the fruit to ensure it is perfect. Perfectly shaped, no blemishes and the best and sweetest taste. The farmers will ensure no bugs infect their farms and even check the moisture content of the soil to ensure it has the optimal growing conditions. All this extra work increases the cost of the fruit.
So if you have an craving for a nice bunch of grapes while you are visiting Japan, don’t fall over in shock when you see the prices. If you are looking for normal priced fruit then go to one of the large shopping centres with a fresh fruit section and you’ll find fruit at more reasonable prices.