A Look Inside Japan’s Most Expensive Fruit Shop

7 years ago by in Business

Tokyo’s Sembikiya started to look like a jewelry shop. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this…

This is Japan’s most expensive fruit parlor located in Tokyo.
Source: blogs.yahoo.co.jp

This is a store of the Sembikiya fruit emporium. It is run by the same Samurai-descendant family since 1834. They began as a discount fruit store. But, the wife of the second-generation owner had decided that they can make more money the other way around… by making them expensive.

This store is actually not a grocery store.

It’s really a gift shop. It is ¬†estimated that 80-90 percent of their products are bought as gifts. It’s a customary in Japan to give expensive fruits as presents for special occasions like weddings, business transactions, and even hospital visits.

It costs $21 for these “Sekai-ichi” apples at this fruit emporium.

Source: blogger.com

Yes, that’s right! It costs $21 PER apple. “Sekai-ichi” means “world’s best.” I’m guessing that these apples were watered with honey, angel piss, and some of Donald Trump’s tears. Nah… just kidding!

You can get this square watermelon for only $212! What?

Source: Flickr: galatea00

You can buy these twelve-pack of Queen Strawberries for $69.

Source: staplenews.com

Talk about being expensive! This can be similar to a 12-piece sushi meal at a high class restaurant.

A box of these delicious looking cherries cost $159.50 which would be $4 per cherry.

Source: wordpress.com

$64 for a box of grapes

Source: Flickr: anakorpa

Or perhaps you’d be interested in a medly of 6 fruits for $170.

Source: Flickr: brad_lp80

$127 for a Densuke watermelon.

Source: Flickr: anakorpa

Recently in 2011, Hokkaido farmers mourned the steep price drop for these watermelons. It was actually auctioned for about $4,000. Only 100 of these stripeless watermelons are grown each year in Hokkaido.

$160 for one Yubari cantaloups or $265 for two of them.

Source: Flickr: brad_lp80

It was said that they are the most expensive fruits on earth. What you’re about to hear is going to make you say wow… a melon actually auctioned for $23,500! What!

enhanced-buzz-32627-1370984638-7Source: staplenews.com

What makes these cantaloups so special? These cantaloups are grown in perfectly weathered greenhouses and are also given hats to prevent them from getting sun burn. Each of the plant grows only one fruit so that it can absorb the whole plant’s sweetness.

How exactly did fruit become a luxury gift item out of anything else?

Source: janealdenstevens.com

Researchers say that fruit as a luxury item stems from the fact that vegetables were always plentiful in Japanese agriculture. That would mean fruit was not essential for nutrition.

“In Europe, where Western culture originated, much of the water is hard water, which is difficult to drink, and few crops could provide a source of vitamins throughout the year, so fruits, which were rich in water content and vitamins, were considered essential food in people’s lives. Fruits were also the main type of preserved foods, being used for jams, juices, wines, and more. In contrast, Japan has a lot of rain, good quality water, and the availability of an abundance of vegetables and edible wild plants year round, from which water content and vitamins can easily be obtained. For this reason fruits were always considered luxury items and gift items.”
Source: takasago.com


The Sembikiya family has claimed that they were the ones who started the tradition of fruit gift giving decades ago. It’s half true because there’s a market for fruit as a high-end gift, farmers actually go to extreme measures to increase the fruits flavor and to ensure a blemish-less presentation. Orchards are hand-pollinated with tiny wands, the fruits are each given an individual protective boxes to grow in.

This is the reason why you’ll see perfect melons sitting behind velvet ropes and bulletproof glass.