Japan’s Square Watermelon Exposed: Minecraft Food for Thought

Zentsuji in Kagawa Prefecture is the home to Japan’s SQUARE WATERMELONS and I travel to Shikoku Island to the very spot where they’ve been producing them for decades.
In this Man vs. Nature battle, mankind seems to have won — but at the expensive costs to produce square watermelons, a luxury fruit, does anyone actually want one?

Before going, I had many questions:
Why do Japanese Square Watermelons exist?
How are the grown?
Do you eat them?
What do they taste like?
How much do they cost?

I asked the son of the man who started it all, Yamashita-san.

He took over for his father and continues his legacy of growing the perfect square watermelon.

The story:

About 45 years ago in Japan, ice cream and beverages started to compete with watermelons in the summer, and Zentsuji’s Yamashita-san, who didn’t want to give up making watermelons, decided to make the square watermelon to compete with those new favorites. Unfortunately, the costs were too high so they changed strategy to make them for display purposes. Stores would gladly pay more for it while customers did not want to pay more to eat them.

Over the years, his son took over and he stuck with it – and now the SQUARE WATERMELON of ZENTSUJI is world famous!

I’ll take you to the farm where you’ll see the metal and glass box they’re grown in.
The we go to the cooperative warehouse where local farmers process the watermelons for distribution around Japan and the rest of the world.

Facts about the Square Watermelon:

* They’re only grown in Zentsuji where they are both trademarked and patented.

* Zentsuji produces about 200 annually.

* They cost between 10,000 and 20,000 yen in Tokyo but depending on the market forces, prices can rise to as high as 90,000 yen for one!

* How big are they? They’re 18 x 18cm so they can fit on the shelf if a refrigerator.

* The harvest starts at the end of June and lasts to the middle of July.

How to get to Zentsuji:

There are a few daily flights to Takamatsu from Narita (Tokyo) with JETSTAR Airlines.
From Takamatsu Airport, take a bus to the JR Train Station then a local train to Zentsuji / 30 minutes.

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/KfyUNGiaWW92

Watch the video here : Japan’s Square Watermelon




Creator and Producer 「ONLY in JAPAN」
President of Weblish Media Ltd.
Reporter for NHK World "Tokyo Eye"

Comments are closed.