A high-end grape bunch has fetched a record price of 1.2 million yen, or about 11,000 dollars, in the first auction of the season in Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast.
The auction of the "Ruby Roman" variety grapes was held in Kanazawa City on Tuesday.
Forty bunches were put up for auction. They all met strict criteria for sugar content and size.
The highest bid for a bunch of 24 grapes was placed by an operator of hot spring inns in the prefecture. Each grape from the bunch costs about 450 dollars.
Takashi Hosokawa, a manger of one of the inns, said he was relieved that the operator was able to make the highest bid in the first year of the Reiwa era. He added that he wants to provide the delicious grapes to customers.
The Ruby Roman variety was developed in the prefecture and first hit the market in 2008. Producers plan to ship about 26,000 bunches of the grapes before the season ends in late September.