Story of the revival of the bankrupting Yubari City in Japan with its No Money But Love campaign. Yubari is famous for its melons which made international headlines in the past few years for its record breaking price; but the city also has an unpleasant tag for being one of the poorest places in the nation…
$6,100 for a Densuke black watermelon
A black jumbo watermelon auctioned in northern Japan fetched a record 650,000 yen (US$6,100) Friday, making it the most expensive watermelon ever sold in the country… and possibly the world.
The 8-kilogram premium Densuke watermelon, grown only on the northern island of Hokkaido, was purchased by a marine products dealer who said he wanted to support local agriculture, according to Kyodo News agency.
In a country where melons are a luxury item commonly given as gifts, the watermelon’s hefty price tag follows another jaw-dropping auction last month, where a pair of Yubari cantaloupe melons sold for a record 2.5 million yen (US$23,500).
“It’s a watermelon, but it’s not the same,” said Kazuyoshi Ohira, a spokesman for the Tohma Agricultural Cooperative in Hokkaido. “It has a different level of sweetness.” [Mainichi]
USD23,800 for a pair of Yubari melons
A pair of Yubari melons are sold for 2.5 million yen (~ USD23,800) in this harvest season’s first auction on May 13 at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Markets. The price is a record high, surpassing the 2 million yen a pair fetched last year. [Kyodo]
Yubari melons are known for their high quality and sweet taste, and are popular summer gifts in Japan; an average Yubari melon could cost USD50-100.
Giving gifts to corporate partners and clients is a traditional Japanese business custom. It’s usually done twice a year in mid-winter and again in mid-summer.
Yubari melon Kit Kat to save the city?
Nestle Japan has introduced a new flavour for its Kit Kat wafer bar, filled with powder from the famous Yubari melons; and the company will donate 10 yen to the bankrupting city of Yubari from every pack sold.
Sounds generous, but there are some catches as pointed out by Stippy… turned out it’s more of a brilliant marketing campaign by Nestle instead of a genuine effort to help the city.
Still, if the product does provide a bit of relieve, I don’t think the local government would mind if it’s genuine or not. It’s cooler though, to spend two million yen to buy two of Yubari’s famous melons instead.
$16,000 USD for a pair of Yubari melons
A pair of cantaloupes from Yubari, Japan, fetched a whopping two million yen (over $16,000 USD) at the first auction of the season in Sapporo. The price paid by department store chain Marui Imai has broken the previous record of 800,000 yen.
The melons, priced at a million yen apiece, were on display/sale at Marui Imai’s flagship outlet. A spokesman said that the melons were meant for publicity in celebration of their 135th anniversary instead of direct profit.
Yubari melons are known for their high quality and sweet taste. The melons are popular summer gifts in Japan. An average Yubari melon could cost $50-100 USD.
Giving gifts to corporate partners and clients is a Japanese tradition which is usually done twice a year, in mid-winter and mid-summer respectively.
[Update] The record was broken again in 2008 for two and a half million yen.