The Fact News Service,
Tokyo, May 25,
Two coveted Yubari melons have fetched 2.7 million yen (almost $25,000 which is equal to Rs. 18,19,712) 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 organizers said on Monday. Similar in size to a cantaloupe, the orange-fleshed Yubari melons are renowned for their high quality and sweet taste.
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. A portion of the stem, which is snipped with scissors, is left on top for aesthetic appeal. Some Japanese people present Yubari King melons as gifts during Chūgen. At a Japanese auction in 2008, two Yubari King melons sold together for nearly Rs 15 lakh. In 2016, Konishi Seika, a fruit and vegetable market in Amagasaki, bought a pair of Yubari King melons at auction with a winning bid of nearly 18 lakh.