We bought one of Japan’s shockingly expensive gift fruits as a gift for ourselves.

While many people like to play up the cost of living in Japan, a lot of the horror stories about how expensive things are here are born from a misunderstanding of context. For example, foreign visitors to Japan are often shocked when they go to a Japanese grocery store and see extremely expensive fruit, like watermelons selling for 5,000 yen (US$45) or more.

However, those fancy fruits exist in addition to, not as replacements for, cheaper versions of the same fruits. That come in classy packaging and are meant to be purchased as gifts, due to a combination of their above-average flavor and flawless appearance. They’re not something you’re supposed to buy for yourself.

So, of course, we bought one for ourselves.

Specifically, we bought an ultra-premium persimmon, since right now is when the autumn fruits are at their most delicious. And when we say “we” bought one, we actually mean our Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato bought one.

▼ Really, he’s the last guy who should be trusted to do his own grocery shopping.

Not far from SoraNews24 headquarters in Tokyo is the Shinjuku branch of swanky department store Isetan, which has a suitably swanky gift fruit section to its basement-level food area. As Mr. Sato prowled the aisles, his wallet flush from cash thanks to his recent extremely economical 400-yen all-you-can-eat blue sushi lunch, his eyes fell upon a trio of adorable “Halloween persimmons.”

Cute as they were, they were also pricey, selling for 1,620 yen for a box of three. They were still only about half the price, though, of the 3,240-yen (US$29) Premium Taishu Persimmon.

▼ The sticker shock for the Premium Taishu Persimmon was so severe it briefly warped our perception of reality.

One the one hand, 3,240 is the price for an entire box. However, the box contains only one persimmon, shipped from Komori Farm in Kumamoto Prefecture. At least the box itself is quite nice, being made out of actual wood.

After opening the box, you’ll find the piece of fruit accompanied by a small explanatory pamphlet, like it’s a brand-name watch or some other exclusive accessory. Mr. Sato removed the single persimmon from its protective sleeve and took a moment to appreciate its satisfying heft (Premium Taishu Persimmon all weight at least 350 grams [12.3 ounces]) before peeling it and slicing it in half to admire its vivid orange beauty in cross section.

Mr. Sato is amply experienced at stuffing fistfuls of food into his face, but given the large outlay that had been involved in procuring this single piece of fruit, he decided to further slice the persimmon into normal-bite-sized pieces. As he did, he noticed that the Premium Taishu Persimmon is remarkably juicy, and the scent of persimmon wafting up from the cutting board enticed him further.

He took a bite, and the initial texture was crisp, almost like an Asian pear, thanks to its extremely fine fibers. As his teeth sunk deeper, though, he found that the persimmon was tender and inviting. It was also extremely delicious, in keeping with Omori Farm’s boast that the Premium Taishu is over 15 times sweeter than an ordinary persimmon.

Again, we must stress that the Premium Taishu isn’t really meant for everyday personal use, and any supermarket in Japan will sell you persimmons for a tenth of the price or less. But if you are looking to splurge on some of Japan’s luxury fruit while you’re here, the Premium Taishu Persimmon is, compared to other high-end fruit in Japan, a relatively affordable option. It’s an experience you’re not likely to ever forget, eve if you’ve also been treating yourself to 10,000-yen beef bento boxed lunches and 2,500-yen bowls of ramen.

Related: Komori Farm
Photos ©SoraNews24
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