A bunch of grapes has fetched a record price at an auction in Japan, where the fruit is considered a status symbol.
The bunch of about 30 grapes of the Ruby Roman variety sold for 1.1m yen ($10,869) – about $350 a grape. Each grape is roughly the size of a ping pong ball.
The grapes are grown in Ishikawa prefecture, and to qualify for the Ruby Roman designation, each grape must weigh at least 20g and have a sugar content of at least 18%.
According to the Ruby Roman club website run by the Ishikawa prefecture, the cultivation process began in 1992 when seeds of the Fujiminori variety were sown. Over the years, they were then cultivated into the Roman Ruby variety, which was named after submissions from the public in 2004. The first grapes went on sale in 2008, and prices have been rising ever since.
Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract large sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners keen to attract customers.