In Japan, Crap Times Means $12,000 Melons

Dark times, I tell you! Just look at what the best Japanese melons in Japan are going for. Dark times.

See, every year, top grade Yubari melons fetch astounding prices. The melons are lovingly grown in Hokkaido greenhouses. This year, the prices were somewhat less astounding (but still bonkers).

In 2008, two Yubari melons commanded ¥2.5 million (over US$30,000) and in 2007, two top grade melons fetched ¥2 million (around $25,000). But after the economy went south, so did the melon prices, hitting ¥500,000 ($6,000) for two top grade melons.

The average price of Yubari melons, which are only grown in Yubari, is usually from $50 to $100—prices vary with quality. Sold in swanky department stores as gifts, these melons are different from the melons sold at local supermarkets, which are far cheaper (but still expensive by Western standards).

The economy is in the dumps. Times have been better, and they have been worse. So this year, the highest price for two Yubari melons was ¥1 million ($12,000). News reports are noting that the melons "only" sold for this mind bogglingly price tag and blame the sluggish economy for discount. I blame the insane prices.

Japan melons fall short at 'only' $15,700 for two [Straits Times]

(Top photo: Kazuyuki Matsumura | AP, Kyodo News)