Kanji of the Day: 千 (せん/ち) sen/chi (thousand)



Japan is probably the only place in the entire world where they sell a melon for over $100. Here is the evidence:



The one on the right is 15,750 yen, which is about 150 US dollars, and the other one is 26,250 yen which is about $250. Whaaaat?!?! I know. These super expensive melons are often in well-crafted wooden gift boxes, and displayed like a fine jewelry in luxurious food retail stores. The melon farmers who grow these babies pay special attention and care, and even give them a “massage” so that they will develop the nice stitch pattern on the surface, which is considered as a good indication for the sweetness and aroma:the more intricate and vivid the pattern is, the sweeter and more fragrant melon becomes.


銀座線千疋屋総本店 – Photo by Midori Chen

There are a few luxurious fruits stores/parlors in Tokyo, but the most prestigious one is千疋屋 (Sembikiya). The name 千疋屋 came from the small village in 武蔵国 (Musashi koku), or current 埼玉県 (Saitama prefecture), where they started as a small fruit and vegetable shop in 1834. Today the company sells not only premium fruits, but fine wines and baked goods to not only Japanese market, but also foreign markets.. They also own a few restaurants and cafes where customers can enjoy delicious desserts made with the premium fruits.

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I am not sure if I want to spend more than $100 for a melon, but 千疋屋 cafe seems to be a good spot to quickly stop by to appreciate the taste premium fruits.

Does anyone want to buy $100 melon?


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