SAPPORO – A pair of melons harvested in Hokkaido sold for 3 million yen (about $23,600) in the first auction of the season at a market here on May 26 – 300,000 yen (about $2,360) more than last year’s price.
“Yubari melons” are an early summer specialty of Yubari town. The winner of the auction held at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in Hokkaido’s prefectural capital was Yubari-based Hokuyupack Co., which sells fresh fruits and vegetables. President Kiyomichi Noda, 74, said: “In about a week, when they are really ripe, we would like to cut them in our store and serve them for free to 100 people.
Food items at first auctions in Japan traditionally sell for “congratulation prices”. A pair of Yubari melons usually cost between 7,000 yen (about $55) and 8,000 yen (about $63), but two sold for a record price of 5 million yen (about $39,000) when they premiered. 2019 auction.
According to the Yubari City Branch of Japanese Agricultural Cooperatives, the quality of melons this year is high thanks to good weather. On May 26, 2,720 melons were shipped and the association aims to distribute 3,438 tons by mid-September.
(Japanese original by Kohei Shinkai, Hokkaido News Department)