International

Raisin' cash: Japan grapes fetch $10,900 at auction

The 1.1 million-yen sale kicks off the auction season for Ruby Romans in Japan. Photo shows a farmer displaying a cluster of recently-developed "Ruby Roman" grapes in his vineyard in Kahoku city in Japan.

The 1.1 million-yen sale kicks off the auction season for Ruby Romans in Japan. Photo shows a farmer displaying a cluster of recently-developed "Ruby Roman" grapes in his vineyard in Kahoku city in Japan.  

A bunch of grapes in Japan sold for $10,900 on Thursday, a record price for the variety in the fruit-obsessed nation where the produce can be a huge status symbol.

Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attract customers over the high-flying edibles.

The buyer of Thursday's bunch of about 30 Ruby Romans — who paid about $360 per grape — showed no wrath, promising to dole out samples to a few fortunate patrons.

"These are truly Ruby Roman gems," bidder Takamaru Konishi from western Japan told media.

"We will display them at our store before giving our customers a sample taste," he said.

Even to the untrained eye, the super-sweet grapes — about as large as a ping pong ball — stand above their more affordable cousins readily available in supermarkets elsewhere in the world.

The 1.1 million-yen sale kicks off the auction season for Ruby Romans in Japan. Other fruits, from apples to watermelons, can also fetch jaw-dropping sums under the hammer.

Fruit is comparatively expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost as much as $3.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 7:46:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Raisin-cash-Japan-grapes-fetch-10900-at-auction/article14475951.ece

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