Japanese grapes fetch record '$5,400 a bunch'
A bunch of red grapes on display at a stall in the Palestinian West Bank town of Hebron, on September 6, 2010. AFP Photo / Hazem Bader
A wedding hall operator bought the Ruby Roman grapes at auction for 550,000 yen ($5,400) on Saturday, the first day of the buying season in Ishikawa prefecture, central Japan, local media reported.
The bunch of around 30 grapes weighed some 800 grammes (28 ounces), Japan's public broadcaster NHK said, adding that the red-skin grape can be as big as three centimetres (1.2 inches) in diameter.
The top notch grapes -- costing around $180 a pop -- will be served at the wedding hall in Kanazawa, central Ishikawa.
"I was surprised to see a higher price than I had originally imagined, but I would like bridal couples to savour them and have a great memory," the hall owner was quoted by NHK as saying.
Around 30 bunches of the Ruby Romans were auctioned Saturday. Some 16,000 bunches are set to be sold this season only in Ishikawa which put the grape on the market in 2008.
Then, the first bunch of Ruby Roman grapes fetched 100,000 yen.
Japanese often present top-quality fruits such as melons as gifts. The first batches of carefully grown fruit often fetch extraordinary prices, making headlines in newspapers.