Why is Japanese fruit so expensive?

Why Is Japanese Fruit so Expensive?

Fruit in Japan is something special. I realised this the moment I first bit into a Japanese apple. They are extremely expensive, well-packaged and big. But there’s a catch. They are much more expensive compared to Europe. I guess Japan is the only country were you can buy a pack of strawberries for 19’440 Yen (177$). So in this post I will give an answer to the question “why is Japanese fruit so expensive?”

Why Is Japanese Fruit So Expensive?

There are three main reasons for why Japanese fruit is so expensive:

  • Japanese fruits are produced domestically
  • Japanese people have high standards regarding food appearance and thus many bad-looking fruit get thrown away.
  • Fruit are often used as a gift and are thus well-packaged.

I will now further elaborate on a few of these points.

Why Is Japanese Fruit So Delicous?

The first time I bit into a Japanese apple I knew that I could never enjoy Swiss apples anymore. The Japanese one tasted so much better. You have to try one. And wait until you eat something like a peach, a nashi (Japanese pear), a kaki (Japanese persimmon) or strawberries in Japan. Because fruit in Japan taste way better than their counterparts in the West.

But why is Japanese fruit so delicious? Well it comes down to the fact that Japanese people don’t see fruit as something you’d eat everyday. It depends on the kind of fruit but, strawberries and melons for example are often used as a gift and are thus expected to taste well. But other fruits that are eaten more often like kiwis or apples taste just as good as ones that get used for gifts. The reason for that is that Japanese people just have higher standards when it comes to food and its appearance.

Japanese Fruits Are A Luxury

The first time I saw these strawberries packaged inside a wodden box I was like “wow”. Curious why they were packaged like that I asked a shop assistant. He first looked at me as if I had just asked something stupid but he then went on to explain to me that these were very delicious, special, hand-picked strawberries that people use as a gift for their bosses, somebody who has just born a child or got married, etc. Japanese people also give fruits to people in the hospital. The fruit should bring the injured person health and energy or something like that.

For me that doesn’t justify the price tag of more than 120 dollars, but yeah. I guess I’m not a Japanese so I don’t understand.

How to Eat an Apple in Japan

As I said before, Japanese people don’t look at fruits as we do in Europe or the United States. I realised that on my first day at a Japanese High School.

While all the other kids had their cool lunch box their mother had prepared for them I was there with an apple, a banana and a pre-cooked chicken that I found at the nearest convenience store.

I was the only white kid there which already made me stand out quite a bit. But then I started eating my apple. And suddenly everybody everybody was staring at me.

I was like wtf, what did I do and asked the guy sitting next to me what had happened. Apparently people in Japan don’t eat apples with their hand and also almost everybody peels their apple before eating it. So when I just ate it without peeling or cutting it everybody else got surprised.

Read more about what it’s like being a foreigner in Japan:

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