The Japanese Yubari King – A Closer Look At One Of The World’s Most Expensive Fruits


For people around the world, fruit forms part of a healthy and well-rounded diet. Interestingly, in Japan, perfectly grown ‘designer fruit’ is highly sought after, the Yubari King being one of the most expensive fruits on the planet.

What Is Yubari King?

The Yubari King, or Yūbari melon, is a very special cantaloupe cultivar grown in vinyl greenhouses. They come from the small town of Yūbari, Hokkaido. This fruit is a hybrid, combining Burpee’s “Spicy” and Earl’s Favorite Cantaloupes. The creation of Yubari King melons began sometime in the early 1950’s and official growers belong to the Yubari Agricultural Cooperative Assosiation, which keeps a watchful eye on the industry in order to ensure high quality and limit the sale of counterfeits.  The growing season begins in February and ends in the early part of September, with fruits taking approximately 105 days to reach maturity and it is recommended that they be eaten within 3 days of being harvested. As a result they are normally transported by air.

How Much Does Yubari King Cost?

In 2008, a pair of perfectly formed Yubari King melons sold at auction for ¥2.5 million, while 2016 saw a pair sold to a supermarket in the Japanese city of Amagasaki for a whopping ¥3 million. However, the average Yubari King melon will cost you between 50 and 100 USD, when purchased from a department store.

Why Is Yubari King So Expensive?

Grown in volcanic ash the Yubari King is exceptionally juicy and sweet, the melons must be grown in the city of Yubari if they are to be called Yubari Kings. What’s more is that only a limited number are produced annually, making them extremely rare.

Why Pay So Much For Fruit?

Giving this type of fruit as a gift is commonplace in Japan. In fact, gift giving occurs during two different seasons, summer and winter, the tradition extending to cover everyone from family members to business associates. Aside from this fact, purchasing a fruit such as Yubari King for the purpose of gift giving has apparently become trendy.

Want To Know More?

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  4. Dekopon Citrus
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  6. Pineapples From The Lost Gardens of Heligan
  7. Densuke Watermelon
Toni Bekker
Toni Bekker

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