• Kyodo


A pair of high-end persimmons proved sweet in more ways than one when they fetched ¥540,000 ($4,750) at the season’s first auction on Thursday.

The fruit — harvested in central Japan and sold at a local wholesale market — are of a cultivar developed by the Gifu Prefectural Government over 10 years and first put on sale last year, when a pair were sold for ¥324,000.

The variety is crispy, and has a sugar content of at least 18 percent — compared to the around 16 percent of other products, according to a local agricultural cooperative.

More of the fruit from this year’s harvest, including a persimmon with a sugar content of more than 25 percent, is being sold at a branch of Matsuzakaya department store in Nagoya. A total of 2,000 of the premium persimmons are expected to be shipped by early November, with retail prices starting from ¥1,000 apiece.

High-end persimmons priced at more than ¥10,000 for a set of three will be sold in golden gift boxes.

“The weather was not very good this year, but farmers’ efforts made the persimmons very sweet,” an official of the agricultural cooperative said.

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