FNN is reporting that Zentsuuji City, located in Kagawa prefecture, has just begun shipping its world-famous signature agricultural product, the square watermelon.
This spring was unusually dry, which lead to a one-week delay in the melons reaching marketable size. Zentsuuji City is the only place in the country (possibly the world) that produces the boxy produce. On the morning of the 25th, six farms that produce the produce delivered 124 of the melons to JA’s distribution center. From there, most of the melons make their way to the department stores of Tokyo and Osaka, where they sell for about 15,000 yen (US$120) apiece.
To get the unusual shape, the young melons are placed into a 20cm (8 inch) reinforced plastic frame. As they grow, the box forces them into the unusual shape. Whether a square melon would be easier to eat is a question that remains unanswered, however, since the melons aren’t allowed to fully ripen—they’re entirely decorative.
As for who’s spending a small fortune on an inedible watermelon, the report doesn’t say.