A Pair of Yubari melons sold for one million yen in Japan

A pair of Yubari melons, a type of premium orange-fleshed cantaloupe from Hokkaido, sold for 1 million yen ($12,400) in this harvest season’s first auction held at the Sapporo City Central Wholesale Markets on Friday. Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan’s four main islands. With its unspoiled nature, Hokkaido attracts many outdoor lovers, including skiers and snowboarders in the colder seasons and hikers, cyclists and campers from June to September.The season’s first auction of the Yubari melons marks the start of the summer fruit sales campaign, said Kurashige Shoten official Kazuo Watarai. Watarai said his company will give the fruits as a gift to an association of retail companies.

Japan is going through a tough time now. I hope that people across the country will cheer up by eating delicious Yubari melons, Watarai said, citing the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern Japan.Meanwhile, the Japan Agricultural Cooperative’s Yubari unit said on its website that it will donate 10% of the sales proceeds of Yubari melons on its online shopping site to reconstruction efforts in areas devastated by the twin disasters.