I wouldn’t say that food in Japan is particularly expensive, at least when compared to countries like Finland where a shopper needs to hand in a new credit card application every time they do their weekly shop. But some things are surprisingly expensive in Japan, for instance, melons.
In a pretty standard supermarket (e.g., Foodium or Kohyo), it is not unusual to see melons that cost between £15-20 (€20-25) each. I suppose one could argue that this is cheap, given that in high end Japanese department store food sections (e.g., Daimaru) you can find melons that cost £50 (€65) each or more!
Perhaps these super expensive melons are pampered and nurtured like the cows that produce the famous, expensive and amazingly delicious Kobe beef. These cows are played music to, given massages to, and fed beer to ensure that they have (relatively) happy and stress-free lives and consequently their meat is extremely succulent (yeah, succulent, unless you make the mistake of asking my husband to cook it – I mean, he can transform even the most succulent piece of meat into something that resembles more that of a tractor tyre than the most expensive beef under the sun).
But I just can’t see what they can possibly do to these melons to make them so expensive. Water them with beer, stroke them, play music to them? If that’s what they do, I think there needs to be more research to establish the effect of music, stroking and beer on the well-being of a plant and the quality of the fruit it produces (and whether these justify the ridiculously expensive fruit prices).
In any case, call me an unsophisticated brute with no understanding of quality, but unless these melons are made of platinum or Strongbow cider, I consider them way overpriced. What do you think?