Square watermelon shipments begin in western Japanese city

This year’s shipment of ornamental square watermelons to wholesalers began Wednesday in western Japan.

Zentsuji’s cubic watermelon shipment to Shikoku Island is expected to continue until the end of July, with each fruit costing around 10,000 yen ($ 90).

Workers check cube-shaped watermelons in Zentsuji, Kagawa Prefecture, western Japan, June 30, 2021, as the first shipments of the season’s fruit begin. The watermelons used as ornaments were grown in square plastic containers and they have a wholesale price of around 10,000 yen ($ 90) a piece. (Kyodo)

Square watermelons, which are harvested while they are not yet ripe, are not edible and are typically purchased as adornments in places such as department stores and fruit stores.

Shaped into cubes of about 18 centimeters by being grown in clear plastic containers with iron frames that allow sufficient sunlight, the development of such watermelons began about 50 years ago, with the aim of creating an easy fruit. keep in a refrigerator.

The number of square watermelon growers has since fallen to seven due to a lack of successors, while low temperatures since April this year have seen the product harvested a week later than usual. Each watermelon weighs about 6 kilograms.

“I hope people enjoy watching these watermelons and chasing the summer heat,” said Toshiyuki Yamashita, 73, who was involved in developing square watermelons with his father.


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