Aug 18, 2013

Fruit is expensive in Japan????

This is something I will also one day turn into a video, because I LOVE fruit  (thus I love to talk about this).

I don't know what the prices of fruit are like in your country, every country is different. I come from Ontario Canada and the price of fruit depends on the type of fruit (duh)


Speaking from a Ontario-villian perspective there are some fruit that is more expensive and more cheaper in Japan.  One thing that pisses me off is the constant complaining about how expensive fruit is and how people apparently have to pay 200$ to get a watermelon (which do exist).

One thing that is important to know about Japan

The number one reason why fruit is expensive in Japan, Fruit is given away as gifts in Japan. There are expensive fruit stores and so called brand name fruit that is sold at higher prices depending on the brand, season, appearance, where it comes from, the farm and occasion.  I could walk into a expensive fruit store, pay 50$ for some oranges, and give it to someone as a gift and WONT look like a cheep idiot. 

In Canada, if you gave fruit to someone as a gift, it would seem weird (unless that person is like me and ASKED for it for Christmas XD)

In Japan, giving fruit away as gifts is acceptable, (however, people don't give away veggies).

In Japan, Fruit is not as casually eaten as fruit in Canada.

For these reasons you CAN find expensive fruit.

But I don't think people pay too much attention to the difference of brands, where it came from when they look at the price and see that peaches are 8$ for 2, get shocked and go write about it on the net.

One thing you can't go wrong with, is TASTE. Japan ranks in the taste of fruit. In Canada, its a guessing game, Fruit aren't usually competing with brands like in Japan, rather grocery stores. In Japan people know which areas have good fruits, and certain fruit brands are well known to be really good tasting. In Canada, its not cared about so much. Sometimes you get a pack of really good peaches, sometimes you don't.

Anyways. Back on topic.

Another thing you have to take into consideration in Japan, some grocery stores will REALLY rip you off. Some grocery stores have INSANE price differences compared to other grocery stores. To mention one 'Livre keisei'  is almost double or sometimes triple the normal price of what food should be. If you move to Japan, check out the prices of a few grocery stores, I like to use the prices of the frozen bento snacks and fruit to compare grocery stores. Bento snacks shouldn't be over 200 yen per pack, if you are in Tokyo and its over, you are in a expensive grocery store area and should move right away

Anyways. So grocery stores will vary ALOT. I mean a lot! 


Japanese people usually don't buy fruit that is half rotten, looks not nice, not perfect to the shape, has a scratch on it. For this reason it takes a lot of money into making the fruit perfect. Stores wont sell the fruit that is almost expired or doesn't look presentable, thus they lose lots of money in the process of selling.

To help people, I will give you my experience in Tokyo as a DEAL list of how much you should be looking at fruit, anything higher, its either a really yummy special brand, or a expensive grocery store. and you should run

BANANA - 100 yen

PEACH - 300-400 yen (for 2 or more)

STRAWBERRYs - 300 yen

MIKAN - 300 yen (for pack)

NASHI  - same as peach

WATERMELON SLICE - 200-350 yen

APPLE - 100-170 yen (per apple)

MANGO - 200-350 yen

GRAPEFRUIT - 100-200 yen

DELAWARE GRAPES - 200-250 yen  
(Some stores sell them for 900 yen WTF!)


  1. Good post. And, I like the addition of a guide to help people.

  2. When I was in Japan in May 2010, I got a punnet of strawberries from an am/pm store, and they were the single most delicious strawberries I'd had in my life! (Completely forget how much they cost, though).

  3. Why does it bother you that people don't like to pay lots of money for fruit? It's a real problem for some people... It makes sense to be annoyed by the cost. I have to feed my child, and I want her to have a balanced diet. Even if she eats only one piece of fruit per day (and for healthy living, many sources recommended to have more), that adds up to a lot of money each week! Forget everyone in the family having a piece!

    It's a pain in the ass to pay so much for an apple or peach. My kids deserve fresh fruit and vegetables, but it breaks the bank to buy them. One of the negative things about living in Japan.

    1. Its not what I said, It annoys me when people see expensive fruit prices, and think thats the normal price. When in reality, the fruit they are looking at is a brand price.

      Every country is differet, so it depends where you come from.
      Compaired to Canada, Bananas are much cheaper, every other fruit depends on the season, sometimes is the same as Canada, or sometimes more.

      Compaired to Canada, Japanese fruit is also larger than Canadian fruit, so the extra price is just more for your money.

      The extra money people spend on fruit in Japan, you save on the rediculously cheap veggies, bread, juice and other foods in Japan that are half the price they are in Canada. :/

    2. Maybe it is my area of Japan, but I find the cost of juice to be crazy high. Easily double what I'd pay at home. It's not a big problem, because we don't let the kids drink juice due to the sugar. The vegetable prices aren't so bad compared to fruit prices. Definitely not half price compared to where I'm from -- they are just similar in price at best.

  4. Compared to Switzerland, Japan is still cheaper o__o

  5. Love reading your blog. I will keep this in mind when I go to Japan even though I won't be too fussed about getting my 5 fruits and veg a day because, well, there's more to Japan then fruit! (my new mini blog with mini pictures about my travels)

  6. Oh wow strawberries are cheaper in Japan the where I live In . I am glad you wrote this because I kept hearing how expensive fruit was in Japan. ^_^

  7. パイナップルはいくらですか

  8. But the fruit is so beautiful! d(^_^o)
    When I was in Tokyo I saw micro tomatoes 10$ a package.
    It looked like a package of currant, so really not a lot to eat. (⌒-⌒; )

    Thank you for the nice and informative posts!~

  9. Is the price for the bananas per banana, or per lb or kg? In America, the prices of bananas are per pound, and seeing as how bananas are 60 cents per pound (on average in America), I could see paying 100 yen per pound.

  10. Wow Japan is really expensive! Here in the UK you can get a bunch of apples (or any fruit) for £1

  11. I have been wondering about this, because I am a fruitaholic! Thanks for the info Miraさん!

  12. It's true that in Japan giving fruits to people can be considered a good present. However they can also make 2 different stands: One for give away presents and the other one for oneself. I'm getting fed up to see that you can eat fruits because they are too expansive or they are too nicely warp and you don't want to waste on warping.
    As for the taste, I'm not sure that they can taste really good, maybe for this price I'm expecting more, I sometimes buy tomatoes and they are not as juicy or tasty as I expected. A friend grows his own tomatoes, they are not as beautiful as what you can find on the market but they are good and juicy.
    Let's be true, Japan also select fruits that look like the same (shape and exterior). Some people may not really care about the shape but more about the taste, so a smaller fruit or a bigger fruit, what's the problem? If you can select the good ones, you won't have problem for taste.

  13. Fruit is getting more expensive here in Canada. I agree though it usually looks ugly here with a lot of blemishes and sometimes (more than not) doesn't really taste very good. Strawberries always taste like water and very bland.

  14. I saw Strawberrys in Japan for 8000 Yen o.O white ones...yammy

  15. I just wanted to say that you really inspire me to want to come to Japan and study when I go to college. I love reading all of your interesting blogs and watching your videos. You made it to where I can experience a new culture without even being there, I realized how interesting Japan is and how much I wanna join everyone. So i started learning Hiragana and love it. Please keep posting more blogs and videos (: your helping so many people see how much more is out there than just where there at. Thanks <3

  16. In the states we have a company called Harry and David that specializes in gift fruits. Its similar to what you described. At the store I can buy pears 3 for $1 but if I was going to give someone a gift and wanted to impress them I'd pay $30 for the Harry and David fruit because of how it looks, how its packaged, and its reputation. Japan just seems to have more companies like this than other countries.

  17. My country, Norway, as some of the most expensive food prices in the world, because of our high taxes. Still, the fruit prices shocked me when I moved to Japan, and not only fruit, but vegetables to. Of course, I get the gift giving-thing with fruit, and it's okay, it makes me appreciate the fruit more. But I still find the vegetable prices frustrating. I know it has to do with Japan being an island with little room for growing veggies, but Norway is the same - mostly mountains and too cold for growing most vegetables and fruits. I'm getting used to it though, and I've accepted that I have to spend more money on food than I'm used to ;)

  18. The real reason why fruits and vegetables are so expensive in Japan is because of the monopoly that the Japanese agricultural industry (Nokyo) holds and the vast political influence that it has. Nokyo is closely tied to the dominant political party Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and they buy votes from the Nokyo.

    The stuff you hear about fruits and vegetables being expensive because of their "higher quality" is mostly BS. It's only because the practice is largely inefficient.

    And NO , "TPP" is not going to be a good way to change this... The Japanese agricultural industry does need to change... but there isn't going to be a simple solution.

    1. Its not really bullshit because I can SEE and TASTE the better quality. I have never tasted such good fruit in my life till I came to Japan. In Canada, its always 'luck'. Sometimes you get a tastry fruit, othertimes no.

    2. Well it's mostly BS, because it doesn't really justify the premium that you're paying (about 4x as much than in other countries). It probably IS higher-quality, but that's the only way to justify such high prices. If you buy fruits that are less expensive (but still cost about 2x as much), then they taste about the same as in other countries.

    3. Unfortunately, every time you say "in Canada" it's not the same "Canada" that I recognize. Mira, I think your Eastern Canadian experience isn't the same experience people have across the nation. i.e., buying good quality fruit where I come from isn't "luck", they're generally all very high quality, not bruised etc., and "I can SEE and TASTE the better quality".
      I've got a Canadian masters degree in economics and I agree with what Johnny was getting at. You can't just write it off because you personally see and taste something better. It's a matter of incomparable perceptions at that point totally ignoring the reality of the bigger picture founded in facts, numbers, and research.

  19. I really agree with Johnny, I am Italian and I just come back frm Japan. It is obvious that in japan fruit is delicious, IT A TROPICAL COUNTRY!!! Canada it is a little bit more cold. And Japan could be full of fruits like any other tropical country, but for some reason this is not the case. To me simply, Japanese people are not farmers, they have not vegs, have not milk, have not cow, sheep, chicken etc, also rice is very expensive (5kg 2000 Yen). Being farmer in Japan could be a very good business if you consider a watermelon 200 bucks, but nobody do that. Probably some rich and powerful Japanese business man decided that Japanese people do not have to enjoy fruit at its reasonable price.

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  22. For me those price of those fruits, for example apples (if it is price for one apple) is unbelievably too expensive.. In my country we pay that price for 1kg not just single apple. Or strawberries, in season we have them here like 2/3$ per kg!

  23. British Columbian Okanagan fruit stills holds a special place in my heart