Jul 10, 2018

The disappointment of bad fruit

One thing that I seem to praise from the rooftops here in Japan is the quality of the fruit and vegetables on offer. Sure, sometimes I’m paying 150 to 200 yen for a single apple, but I’ve found that on the whole here, the standard of produce is so much better than back home - so it ends up being easy enough to justify the expense.

The disappointment of bad fruit photo

When fruit here is so much more expensive than I'm used to back home, I expect (and usually receive) good quality stuff (and no, I didn't buy a fancy watermelon...)

There seems to be much more of a seasonal approach to what’s on shelves here - for example you’ll have super sweet and delicious strawberries available for quite a limited time period, because there seems to be an emphasis on only putting out the best stuff. Back home you can buy strawberries basically year round, but they’re usually imported if it’s not the right season for them - and as a result they just don’t have the same flavor.

I feel that as a result of my newly formed high standards for fruit and veg, when I get bad quality produce now, it’s so much more of a disappointment than it has been at any other point in my life.

My kids love blueberries - my husband and I often joke that we need a separate blueberry budget when they’re in season because they blow through them so quickly. We bought a container of them yesterday, and had to throw more than half of them out because they were already squishy.

The disappointment of bad fruit photo

All these blueberries were bad. Super disappointing for Japan's usually exceptional standards when it comes to fruit & veg!

Back home I probably would have taken them back to the store and asked for a refund, but I don’t know if that is a common practice here in Japan - so I just vowed to not buy blueberries from that particular supermarket again. But it did make me laugh a little that my expectations here for fruit are so high now. Before, I wouldn't have dwelled on it to this level, but in Japan, when the quality of a product misses those lofty new standards I have, the disappointment seems to feel all the more pronounced.

What do you usually do if you get bad quality produce? Have you taken stuff back before and asked for a refund? How does that usually go down here in Japan?



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!