18 March 2012, 22:37

Japan's obsession with perfect fruit

TOKYO. March 18. KAZINFORM. Giving fruit as a gift is a common custom in Japan. But this fruit is not your normal greengrocers' produce, complete with bumps, bruises and blemishes. The pick of the crop is grown with exquisite care and attention to detail - and commands an eye-watering price when it comes to market. Kazinform refers to BBC.

Classical music plays softly over the speakers in the Senbikiya shop in central Tokyo. The uniformed members of staff are politely attentive, ushering the customers to chairs and crouching down beside them to take their orders.

The ceilings are high, the fittings elegant, the lighting tasteful and the displays are beautiful. But this is not some designer handbag emporium or high-end jewellery store. Senbikiya is a greengrocers.

Ushio Oshima is showing us around. He is a sixth-generation member of the shop's founding family. The business began back in the 19th century, piling fruit high and selling it.

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