Japanese fruit is expensive. Very expensive. In fact, many of the things I'd buy in England without giving a second thought to the price, such as peaches or strawberries, tend to be out of my price range here in Japan. I see it as a treat if I buy myself an apple AND a kiwi fruit, in the same week, for example.
Melons, unless chopped up and put into a little packet, are definitely way out of my price range. Big time. I mean, really! For example, it's quite common to see them from 2,000 to 5,000 yen or higher (that's about £9 to £22 or US$17 to US$43).
Anyway, I'd heard about the new breed of Hokkaido watermelon, famous for it's, er, square shape, but I'd never actually seen one and wondered if it was a joke or a myth.
For your delight, I bring you a photo of a square watermelon that I saw today in Shinjuku. It comes complete with a pretty pink bow. Actually, I'd expect it to be put in a gold box as well for the price they are asking....
This piece of fruit costs 20,000 yen. (that's £90 or US$172). I would expect it to taste pretty amazing for that much dosh. Although I imagine it tastes no different from any other watermelon.
Ah, apparantly, you can get square watermelons for a mere 10,000 yen. This one wasn't though. It seems (good old Google!) that the point is to make them easier to store in the fridge or something and they are made by farmers forcing them into square boxes when they are still growing. The watermelons then take on the shape of the box. I think it's a bit freaky, but whatever. Mind you... if ALL fruit were square it would stop it from rolling out of the fruit bowl, wouldn't it? Maybe square chickens should be developed next.