Japan Today
Image: Suntory

Hokkaido farmers have developed a new fruit, the Lemon Melon, combining best of both

By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

You’ve probably heard about Japan’s wild fruit market, where a single bunch of grapes can cost over 10,000 yen. But those prices are not for any fruit; they’re for luxury Japanese fruit that has been carefully hand-raised and specially bred to not only thrive in the Japanese environment but also be as pleasurable as possible in both taste and texture.

So when we heard that Hokkaido farmers have produced an entirely new fruit that is round, juicy, and sweet like a melon but slightly sour like a lemon, we couldn’t help how our mouths watered.

The new fruit is, fittingly, called the Lemon Melon, and is currently being cultivated in limited quantities by five farmers in the city of Furano, Hokkaido. While it has the same shape as a watermelon, the rind lacks the familiar stripes, and the inside is white.


Suntory Flowers, the Japanese horticulture company that developed the Lemon Melon, said they bred it from a type of melon originally imported from overseas, which they have been working to improve over the last five years. The current product, which is blended with lemons, is the result of countless experiments on cultivation methods and harvest times, and this is the first year that they are able to sell them.


At one supermarket, Lemon Melons were selling for 3,218 yen each. In the video above, those who were able to try some samples said:

“It’s really refreshing. I like it.”

“It has a good balance of sweet and sour. It would be the perfect fruit for a hot day. Can I try another one?”

A reporter from HBC News who tried it added:

“It has a faint sourness like a lemon, but the strong sweetness of a melon. It’s delicious.”

Apparently, the texture of the Lemon Melon starts out crisp like a pear, but as the fruit ripens, it gets much softer, like Hokkaido-grown Yubari melons, so there are several different ways to enjoy it.


This year, producers are expecting to cultivate about 3,800 Lemon Melons, which will be sold in Sapporo supermarkets through the end of August. They’re hoping they’ll become a new addition to Japan’s luxury fruit market, so if you love to try expensive fruits like specially bred-pears and fancy cherries, definitely give it a try.

Source: HBC News via Yahoo! News via My Game News Flash, YouTube/HBC News, HBC News

Images: Suntory, Suntory Flowers

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Can we pick out the expensive Japanese grapes in a blind taste test?

-- Surprisingly strong Hokkaido woman arrested for poking holes in 13 expensive melons with finger

-- Do expensive 10,000 yen Japanese cherries taste better than cheap ones from the supermarket?

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Well, I’m not too sure about this, though I suppose I could give it a try. My partners mummy sent us 5 melons from Sapporo recently, from my partners uncles farm apparently.

‘They we’re very nice, however I’m not too keen on lemons, too bitter for me you see. Though I do use lemon juice In my tomato based curries you see, but not enough so you can actually taste it of course.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I hate melons, but this one I would give a try. I love lemons. This just might be good, BUT how much will it cost?….

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The current product, which is blended with lemons, is the result of countless experiments on cultivation methods and harvest times

What exactly "blended with lemons" means here? the rest of the sentence seems to indicate they just selectively breed the fruit that had a taste closer to lemons, no blending of any kind.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Apparently, Tesco was selling something similar in 2008 - a cross between a sour Indian white melon and a wild Japanese melon, grown in Spain. https://www.fruitnet.com/fresh-produce-journal/lemon-melon-first-at-tesco/146165.article

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like to me its a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) is it safe let me know

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

how much will it cost?

“At one supermarket, Lemon Melons were selling for 3,218 yen each.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At one supermarket, Lemon Melons were selling for 3,218 yen each. In the video above, those who were able to try some samples said:

Take a normal melon and add a little lemon or lime juice. Simple solutions to complicated problems.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not a fan of melons and always add lemon and some honey to make it palatable. Wouldn't even consider buying such expensive fruit!

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Good point, but it's not necessarily GM or GE - hybrid melons produced by natural plant breeding aren't rare. If they don't tell us if it is or not, we won't know, and governments are now allowing GM/GE to be covered up, with no mention on food labels. Getting this sort of info out of producers can be like getting barnacles off a rock.

quote: is it even possible to cross-breed a curcubit with a citrus fruit

No, it's not. The name refers to the unusual taste.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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