Inside Japan's Most Insanely Expensive Fruit Parlor
Tokyo's Sembikiya looks like a jewelry shop. Harry & David need to step up their game.
This is a luxury fruit parlor in Tokyo.
But it is not actually a grocery store.
What you can buy here: $21 "Sekai-ichi" apples.
$212 for a square watermelon
$69 for a twelve-pack of Queen Strawberries
Cherries for $159.50 per box ($4 per cherry)
$64 box of grapes.
Or maybe you'd prefer a medly of 6 fruits for $170.
Or $127 for a Densuke watermelon.
Yubari cantaloups ($160 for one, or $265 for two)
So how did fruit become a luxury gift item?
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.