Please look at the picture below.  This melon costs ¥5780, or about $75.  For one melon!  And believe it or not, this is fairly cheap for a gift melon.  In Japan, high end fruit is often given to show your appreciation for someone who has done something for you, or for an important guest or client. Most of the ones I have seen in our area cost about $100, but they can go as high as $300 or $400.  And for perfect or rare fruits, you are looking at thousands of dollars. In 2008, a pair of melons from Hokkaido broke records when they sold for 2.5 million yen!

Gift melons are perfect in shape, and they are carefully hand tended and cared for throughout the entire growing process.  Any fruit that is deemed imperfect doesn’t make the cut. I saw an ad in Tokyo that showed the fruits being grown in greenhouses at the top of skyscrapers.  I wish I’d taken a picture of the ad so I could have found more information about these skyscraper fruits.  I have never had a gift melon, so I can’t say what they taste like, but I would hope they taste amazing for the price. It should be noted that these are fruits you only buy for others. If you were buying a melon for yourself, you would buy the $10 or $20 one at the regular grocery store.  (I know….I still haven’t adjusted to fruit prices here!) I have also heard there are square gift watermelons and black watermelons, but I haven’t seen either of these.  Right now is a gift-giving season (I believe) because the stores are suddenly full of expensive gift fruit.  I can’t imagine spending this much money on fruit….can you?