The square watermelon and the most expensive fruits in Japan

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That Japan is a different country, everyone already knows! But I also knew that the most expensive fruits in the world are found in Japan! And square watermelon?! Have you seen it? In Japan there is too.

The difference of these fruits is in the Japanese tradition of giving fruits as a gift and complex and rigorous cultivation. They have the concept of “perfect fruit”. So you will always see them shiny, with few seeds and quite big.

Let's start by talking about the square watermelon, which is undoubtedly quite different.


Japan's Square Watermelon

Watermelon or “Suika” (西瓜) it is a very popular fruit of the Japanese summer. It's even common to see people playing with watermelon on the beaches. This game is called suikawari (スイカ割り). Basically someone blindfolded tries to blow up the watermelon with a taco. But, something that also draws a lot of attention are the various formats of watermelon grown in Japan. Going from round, triangular and even heart-shaped watermelons.

The square watermelon has been around for over forty years in Japan, but its expansion around the world is only about fifteen years old. It came about by farmers in Shikoku (now where it produces more square watermelons), but mostly by farmer Takashi Yamashita.

The idea of leaving the watermelon in this format was because round fruits, especially when larger ones occupy more space on the shelves, can roll and fall. It in this format facilitates storage. 

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

To stay in these formats, the common watermelon is placed inside a glass box during the growing phase. But this caused it to lose some of the sugar present in this fruit, making it a decorative purpose product as it has a longer shelf life compared to a common watermelon. 


The price of a square watermelon can vary widely, but the average is over 13,000 yen. The fruit is sold in expensive departments and supermarkets in Tokyo and Osaka. 

Because of the ease of changing the shape of the fruit, other shapes have recently emerged in Japan, such as triangular, heart and even scarecrow head.

The heart-shaped watermelon appeared for more festive dates as Valentine's Day and Mothers Day. But as it is an even more differentiated format, it costs at least 3,000 yen more than the square.


The cultivation and trade of square watermelon

A cultivation technique was developed by the Japanese. during the growth phase the fruit is placed in a type of form or mold, usually glass. Thus, they are forced to grow and take the desired shape. These techniques took years of practice and testing, even with other fruits, such as melons. At the Brazil square watermelons have been produced for a few years. It is even a risky bet, the producers say that the reception of this new product exceeded expectations.

Due to these changes in the nature of the fruit, some changes in the essence of the watermelon are noticeable. In search of improvement, square watermelons often lose their sweet taste. It was from there that the trade in square watermelon for decorative purposes increased. these can be kept for approximately one and a half years. It soon became a luxury item in a sophisticated gift.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

The various forms of Japanese watermelon

But it is clear that the Japanese would not be content only to produce watermelons in the square format. As time went by, several forms emerged, and some of these were very different. The heart shaped ones took 3 years to reach the perfect shape. And these are marketed starting at $ 250.


There are also watermelons in triangular or pyramid shapes. There are also watermelons called “Godzilla eggs” (you can imagine this one is quite big), it even comes in a very special box. Watermelons are sold in dynamite format and decoration and in the form of a calabash. And the most unusual is the "suika jinmen" or “Watermelon human face” which costs 50,000 yen or more.

The most expensive Japanese fruits in the world 

Japan is known for having extremely expensive fruits, but it is noteworthy that this is not the case with all fruits, but special fruits that we will see in the list below.

We also recommend reading our article about fruit and vegetable prices in Japanese markets to have a realistic understanding of prices and not a general idea because of Japan's most expensive fruit.

1 - Yubari melon

This melon looks like a work of art! In addition to being perfectly round, it has a design that resembles an ancient marble. This fruit is grown in Hokkaido. It costs an average of 300 dollars, but it has already been auctioned for 27 thousand dollars.

The melon is very sweet and has a very thin rind, which leaves the fruit in addition to being beautiful and tasty. 

When it was bought for $27,000, the bid was made by a company in order to celebrate a positive year.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

two - Tuby Roman Grapes

These grapes are from Ishikawa and already stand out for their size, which is more or less than a ping pong ball, weighing around 20 grams. It is the most expensive grape in the world.

The Roman grape, in addition to being very beautiful, is very sweet and tasty. A bunch averages $65.


In 2016 a bunch of these grapes was purchased for $10,900.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão
A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do Japão

3 - Densuke black watermelon

This watermelon is from Hokkaido and stands out for being perfectly round, black, shiny and without streaks on the skin and very smooth. The flavor is very sweet and costs an average of 250 dollars. But it has already sold for $6,100.

Her production throughout the year is very limited in Hokkaido with 100 watermelons being produced. As it is very special, it is usually requested for weddings and must be done in advance.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

4 - Tayou-No-Tamago Sleeve

These mangoes are tastier than the common ones we know because they are sweeter, softer and larger in size. They are perfect in shape and are standardized.

These sleeves weigh 350 grams and have already sold for 3.662 per box with two Tamago units.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão - manga tayou

5 - square watermelon

The Watermelon we've talked about throughout this article is also usually pretty expensive.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

6 - Strawberry Senbikiya Queen

These strawberries, apparently when you just look at them, don't seem to have anything special, but they, like the others, are rigorously picked to select the perfect ones. 

A dozen of these strawberries cost $69 and you can find them at the Sembikiya luxury fruit parlor in Tokyo.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

7 - Sekai Ichi apples

These apples look like movie ones they are so big and shiny. They can weigh up to 2 kilograms. And the belief is that they can only be eaten on special occasions.  

Each apple like that costs 21 dollars.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

8 - decompose

Decopom is a mixture of orange and tangerine. They are believed to be the tastiest citrus fruits in the world. Their flavor is a mixture of sweet, slightly acidic and fine buds.

The Decopom unit costs 13 dollars. We also recommend reading our article talking about fruits and vegetables in japanese language.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

Japanese fruit diversity in anime 

It is impossible for you to watch an anime and not see that fruits are always present in your menus. As watermelon is one of the most consumed fruits in Japan and is considered the fruit of the summer, it is more present.

In the anime called Love Hina, there is a character called Mustumi that holds a square watermelon with the greatest of ease leaving this aspect of ease because of the shape in evidence.

A melancia quadrada e as frutas mais caras do japão

Which of these fruits are you curious to try? Did you like the article? Interested in any of these watermelons and fruits? Leave your comments and share with friends.