Browse By

The $500 Grape

SNA (Kanazawa) — Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture has been developing the high-quality Ruby Roman Grapes for fourteen years. This year, a single bunch of grapes sold for 1.2 million yen, working out to almost US$500 for a single grape.


Narration: For fourteen years, Ishikawa Prefecture has been developing high-quality Ruby Roman Grapes.

Hirofumi Isu, Prefectural Researcher: At the Sand Dunes Agricultural Research Center, we research about grapes and persimmons. As for grapes, we mainly research Ruby Romans. It is about developing high-quality grapes. We work every day to produce better Ruby Romans. We aim to deliver these excellent Ruby Romans to consumers in all of Japan and the world.

Narration: The prefectural government licenses a union of local farmers to grow excellent Ruby Roman Grapes.

Noboru Ota, Farmers Union Leader: Ruby Romans are large-sized grapes, red in color, and also sweet with low acidity. They have these three characteristics.

Narration: Ruby Roman Grapes are taken to market in Kanazawa, where they can sometimes fetch very high prices. This year, one bunch of Ruby Romans sold for a record 1.2 million yen, more than US$10,000 for only 24 grapes. Takashi Hosokawa was the buyer.

Takashi Hosokawa: Of course it was very noteworthy, and advertisement was part of the reason for it. But it was also to mark the beginning of the Reiwa Era, and also to show the strength of my business, even though it cost me 1.2 million yen. My customers and I also wanted to show thanks to those working hard to make the fine Ruby Romans. So I bought them and presented them to my customers.

Get the feeling that your news services aren’t telling you the whole truth? That’s what happens when they get their operating money from governments and business corporations. SNA relies exclusively upon its subscribers in order to remain fully independent. Please support fearless and progressive media in Japan through Patreon.

Become a Patron!
For breaking news, follow on Twitter @ShingetsuNews