A department store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district on Wednesday (December 20) launched sales of a product that should make an unusual New Year gift in Japan.
A department store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district on Wednesday (December 20) launched sales of a product that should make an unusual New Year gift in Japan. Aiming at the growing number of whisky drinkers in Japan, the Matsuzakaya store is selling ice which it claims is two thousand-year-old Arctic ice from Greenland.
The store says the natural, pollution-free ice releases air into whisky on the rocks, adding to the flavour. And, according to store officials, it is almost as important that the Greenland ice has a more musical tinkle than ice made from Tokyo's present water supply.
The department store imported several tons of the ice from the Royal Greenland Trade Department in Denmark. The ice was selling for 600 yen (less than ???1.00 sterling, about ???2.00 U.S.) for a one kilogram (2.2 lbs) package. That's about twenty times the cost of ordinary ice in Tokyo. The cost didn't seem to deter the people of Tokyo who have become accustomed to high prices for special gifts for friends at the New Year which is Japan's major holiday and festive season.
Another Tokyo department store, takashima in Nihonbashi, was selling what could be the world's most expensive apples. Those people with 2,000 yen (about ???3.00 sterling) to spare could buy just one apple weighing about one and a half pounds (780 grams). The store called the apple a "Super Number One".
SYNOPSIS: Shopping for the New York festivities in Tokyo took some unusual forms this year. A new idea, but an extremely old product, attracted many customers to one department store in the Ginza shopping district. Aimed at the growing number of whisky drinkers in Japan, the store was marketing Arctic ice imported from Greenland.
The store claimed the superior musical tinkle of the Arctic ice was almost os important as the flavour. the two-thousand-year-old ice was said to release ancient, pollution-free air into the whisky. New year spending in Japan is enormous and not even the price tag deterred customers from the ice. It was being sold at about twenty times the cost of ordinary Tokyo ice.
For the New Year, Japanese style, the more unusual the gift, the better it is. Among the fruit racks at another department store was a product described as the "Super Number One" apple. The price of one was about three pounds sterling, but they weighed about one and a half pounds. Sales were slow, but there were still a few more shopping days to New Year.