grape
Ruby Roman grapes. Photo: YouTube

  • A bunch of grapes sold for R154,000 (1.2 million yen) at an auction in Japan on Tuesday, according to NHK News.
  • Yes, that's R154,000 for grapes.
  • But this was no ordinary fruit - it was precisely 24 Ruby Roman.
  • The varietal is known for its sweetness and juiciness, and its low acidity.
  • A chain of hot spring hotels bought the grapes.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A bunch of grapes sold for R154,000 (1.2 million yen) at an auction in Japan on Tuesday. Yes, that's R154,000 for grapes.

But it's not just any regular fruit. These were "Ruby Roman" grapes, a variety of the fruit first developed in 2008, according to NHK News. These grapes are roughly the size of a ping pong ball and are known for being especially sweet and juicy with low acidity, according to Market Watch.

Known for their distinct bright red color, the Ruby Roman Club calls it a "dream grape."

Forty bunches of the grapes were put up for auction in Kanazawa City on Tuesday, according to NHK News. The highest bid went to an operator of a chain of hot spring hotels. The operator placed a record bid for R154,000 (¥ 1.2 million) on 24 grapes - which boils down to about R13,000 per grape.

Takashi Hosokawa, who manages one of the inns in the chain, told NHK News he is glad the operator secured the fruit and is eager to serve the grapes to hotel guests.

This was the most expensive sale of the grape since they were launched on the market in 2008, according to the Japan Times. The fruit is grown and sold exclusively in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan.

"We offered ¥1.2 million to mark the 12 years (since the grape first came on the market) and to celebrate Reiwa's first auction," Hosokawa told the Japan Times, referring to Reiwa era which began in May with Emperor Naruhito's coronation.

According to the Japan Times, the JA Zennoh Ishikawa farming cooperative expects that 26,000 bunches of the grapes will be for sale between now and September.

That's a sweet deal.

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