Japan’s square watermelon exposed

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?

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!

Officials at Japan’s Meteorological Agency say a power malfunction in its seismic system caused a false alarm earlier this month that indicated a massive earthquake may hit Tokyo Bay. (NHK)

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. (ONLY in JAPAN)

Back in the good old days of 2015, Tokyo-based retailer Laox logged a record group net profit catering to shopping-mad Chinese tourists at its sales-tax-free stores in Japan. (Nikkei)

The administrator of a building used by opposition party supporters and a labor union chapter filed a complaint against the Oita prefectural police on Friday for trespassing and secretly installing cameras on the premises in June. (Japan Today)

People in western Japan have started dancing to lively music for the annual Awa Odori festival. (NHK)

In the lead-up to English becoming a part of the primary school curriculum, improving instructors’ English teaching skills is urgent business. (the-japan-news.com)

Relatives of the victims of Japan’s worst air disaster remembered their loved ones on Friday, the 31st anniversary of the tragedy. (NHK)

Officials at Delta Air Lines say the US carrier will close 3 routes that use Narita Airport outside Tokyo. (NHK)

Japan and South Korea have reached a basic agreement on activities that Japan will fund to support those referred to as wartime comfort women. (NHK)

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