If you are an avid fruit eater like myself, you better make a fruit budget during your time in Japan. Japan is home to some of the most expensive fruit in the world. To maintain a daily intake of 3-5 fruit servings per day, expect to pay about $10-$15 a day. Japanese convenience stores which are known as “konbini” typically sell apples for $2-3 a piece. Buying fruits in bulk at markets and grocery stores does not make the habit that much cheaper—plus, it’s difficult to buy fruit in bulk when you are traveling, as you probably don’t want to lug the fruit around or might not have a place to stash it.
Apart from the everyday fruit sold at konbini and grocery stores intended for personal consumption, Japan is home to a huge luxury fruit industry. You can spend literally hundreds of dollars on a watermelon or thousands of dollars on grapes. Definitely worth a visit, Sembikiya Fruit Store is unlike any grocery store you’ve visited, more resembling a jewelry shop than a grocery store, with prices to match. What sets these fruits a part from ordinary fruits? They are grown with extreme care and precision. For example, cantaloupe are grown in perfectly weathered greenhouses and individually outfitted with hats to prevent sun burn, or plants that only grow a single fruit (farmers prune the less desirable fruit early on), so that the single fruit receives the entire plant’s sweetness.
You’ll not only find expensive regular looking fruit, but engineered fruit like nothing you’d find in the wild, such as square shaped watermelons, ideal for stacking.
Just like in China, gifting friends fruit is common practice. Gifts are presented not only on special occasions, but to show appreciation and build relationships. When invited as a guest into a home for a meal or a visit, never show up empty-handed. While you don’t have to necessarily spend hundreds of dollars on Ruby Roman grapes or heart-shaped watermelons, there are other options for less than $20.
Although expensive, Waygo recommends you don’t skip out on consuming fruit while traveling in Japan. Remember what the doctor says, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!