Densuke Watermelon: The $4,000 Japanese Fruit

Michael Söze

A prized piece of Japanese fruit, the Densuke Watermelon, fetched nearly $4,000 at an auction in Sapporo earlier this month. And apparently, that's a bargain.

This year's highest-selling fruit, sold to the Isetan department store for $3,743, is actually a steep fall from the Densuke watermelon's peak season several years ago, when the top pricey fruit sold for $6,100, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Densuke watermelons are grown exclusively on Hokkaido, in northern Japan, and are prized for their solidly black, smooth-as-a-bowling-ball gourd, crispy texture, and extra sweet juices. Given the rarity of the fruit- there are only about 100 of the stripeless watermelons available on the first day it goes on sale each year- it's not a surprise that prices reach such astronomical levels.

What is shocking, however, is that the Densuke isn’t the most prized of Japan’s watermelons. That coveted award goes to Sapporo market's most expensive fruit, the Yubari melon, which at one point in time has sold for as much as $26,000 (2.5 million yen).

via WSJ