These melons will cost you almost $25,000; this is why they are so expensive
Tokyo: Two coveted Yubari melons have fetched 2.7 million yen (almost $25,000) at a traditional auction marking the start of the season on Japan’s Hokkaido island.
This was more than 22 times last year’s price, the auction organisers said on Monday.
Similar in size to a cantaloupe, the orange-fleshed Yubari melons are renowned for their high quality and sweet taste, reports DPA news agency.
Last year, a pair of melons had sold for 120,000 yen – a fraction of what is normally achieved at the start of the season.
The bargain price was due to the coronavirus crisis.
The year before, a pair of melons fetched a record five million yen at auction at a wholesale market.
The fruits are grown under extremely difficult conditions in the harsh winter in Hokkaido and are the pride of the region.
The harvest starts in May and lasts until August. In normal trade, such a melon costs a few thousand yen – which is still a lot of money.
A total of 466 of the pricey melons changed hands at this year’s auction.
According to local media reports, this time a baby food producer paid the top price.
The auctioned melons will be donated to families with small children who had previously been picked in an online draw.
The baby food company’s boss was quoted as saying that times were tough because of the coronavirus pandemic, “but I hope that you will get better with the melons”.