I am sitting here munching on some grapes. Unfortunately as they are Japanese grapes it means that I have to spit the skins out as I eat them and therefore have purple fingers....... When I first came to Japan I couldn't believe they spat the skins out, but now that I live here and eat the grapes I understand why. It is not because they are covered in chemicals (although that is probably true too) it is more because the skins are so hard and bitter that they need to be spat out in order to keep your digestive tract in good running order. I also find it interesting to see how they actually grow the grapes here. Every bunch is put into an individual paper bag from the time it first forms to protect it from any kind of harmful thing you can imagine. Often the grapes are then sold in that same bag - no sampling the merchandise first! Perhaps the labour intensiveness of it all is one of the reasons why they are so expensive.... lucky we have friends who keep us supplied!
By the way - I can't take credit for the grapes in a bag photo, but stole it off another blog. I discovered it by chance while searching for the photo and it has some other insights into Japan for anyone interested. The address is: Quirky Japan Blog