Heart-shaped "Junoheart" cherries were auctioned Tuesday for the first time this year in northeastern Japan, with a pack containing 15 of them in top quality selling for 300,000 yen, equal to 20,000 yen ($186) per fruit.

Developed by Aomori Prefecture and known for their high sugar content of 20 percent, the cherries hit the market in 2019 and are getting shipped to other regions for the first time this year.

Photo courtesy of JA Hachinohe

The price reflected "great expectations," a local government official said following the auction at Hachinohe's central wholesale market.

Junohearts of more than 31 millimeters in diameter which also have particularly good color and gloss are given the premier brand name "Aomori Heartbeat," a pack of which went for the price tag.

"I hope this will help attract attention for its debut outside the prefecture," said winning bidder Nobuhiro Umeta, who heads the Hachinohe branch office of Nagatsukaseika, an intermediate wholesaler in Chiba near Tokyo.

Supplied photo shows Nobuhiro Umeta holding a pack containing "Aomori Heartbeat" cherries at Hachinohe's central wholesale market in Aomori Prefecture on June 30, 2020. (Photo courtesy of JA Hachinohe)(Kyodo)

The cherries will go on sale from July at major department stores in Tokyo and Osaka.

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