Joining the ranks of the £500 (US$942) melon, a Japanese farmer from the now snow-buried north of Japan has begun selling the season's first cherries at ¥1000 (US$9.7) per cherry.

His Sato Nishiki variety cherries are usually sold in 300 gram boxes containing around 40-50 cherries at ¥40,000 a throw, making them among some of the most expensive foodstuffs in the world. Despite the high prices farmer Kazuo Hanawa in Yamagata reports he has already shipped 100 packs.

Expensive fruit is often given as gifts to impress superiors in Japanese business circles, while fruit prices in general remain 50% above those in the west.