The pick of the cherry crop in a northern Japan town sold for a price that was stunning even by the standards of high-end Japanese fruit auctions. A box of 15 Aomori Heartbeat cherries sold for 600,000 yen, the equivalent of $4,435, or $295 per cherry, reports the Asahi Shimbun, which notes gasps were heard. They were auctioned as part of a sale of Juno Heart cherries, a variety developed by a research center as a high-end gift option. Aomori Heartbeats are the biggest Juno Hearts and measure more than 1.2 inches across.
The eye-wateringly expensive cherries were bought by a Tokyo-area fruit seller who paid 450,000 yen for a box of the same variety last year, the Times of London reports. The company plans to sell them, though it is traditional for fruit bought for "congratulatory prices" at the first auction to be given as gifts, the Times notes. A bunch of Ruby Roman red grapes went for a record $10,000 last year, and in 2019, a pair of Yubari melons from the prized first harvest in Hokkaido sold for $45,000. (Read more Japan stories.)