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pyramid watermelon

A deep-pocketed Japanese department store in April shelled out an eye-watering 300,000 yen for a pair of mangoes, a record price for the second year in a row.

But this pricey produce is not intended to tempt your taste buds — it’s more ornament than the perfect picnic food.
“This fruit is meant to be a feast for your eyes, but they don’t taste very good,” admitted the shop’s senior managing director Mototaka Nishimura.

Japanese consumers are used to paying through the nose for fruit, and now the summer’s here there’s another way for them to empty their wallets: cube and heart-shaped watermelons.
Farmers plant young watermelons inside acrylic containers to get the desired shape.
This year’s must-have luxury fruit is a particular brand of strawberry, with a single berry currently selling for around $415.
While the price may sound high, it’s actually something of a bargain in Japan where people traditionally exchange gifts, including expensive fruit, with clients and relatives a couple of times a year.
Over at the Shibuya Nishimura luxury fruit shop in downtown Tokyo, a cube-shaped watermelon, about the size of a baby’s head, sells for 12,960 yen ($105).

Not to your liking? Well, how about a heart- or pyramid-shaped melon to sit on that chic coffee table in your living room.

Japanese consumers are used to paying through the nose for fruit, and now the summer's here there's another way for them to empty their wallets: cube and hea…

Be aware that prices vary depending on the fruit vendor .

Many of these watermelons took years of practice to get their shape right. They are grown in special containers or molds. The heart-shape watermelon (see below), for example, took three years to get just right. Farmers fuss over these melons, which are usually grown in very small batches.
This is a “Godzilla Egg” watermelon. It’s. very large and comes in a neat crate. I did see one of these once—maybe about ten years ago. The shape isn’t that special. Prices vary between $68 and $150.

Watermelon is a popular summer fruit in Japan. People give watermelons as gifts and play “ suikawari ” (スイカ割り), which is like piñata, but with a watermelon.
Depending on the size, a whole watermelon costs around ten bucks in Japan. Then, there are the luxury watermelons, which most people typically don’t buy or eat .
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This is where watermelons get interesting, odd, and effing expensive.
The iconic square watermelon is not a regular sight at most Japanese supermarkets. I’ve lived here 17 years, and I’ve seen only a couple over the years. The novelty melon is usually priced in the neighborhood of $100 each, but they can approach $200.

A few years back, there was a report that wealthy people in Russia were paying over $800 for Japanese square watermelons. In Russia, that’s supposedly 300 times the price of a regular watermelon. But why square Japanese watermelons? That’s so passé!

A few years back, there was a report that wealthy people in Russia were paying over $800 for Japanese square watermelons. In Russia, that’s supposedly 300 times the price of a regular watermelon. But why square Japanese watermelons? That’s so passé!