Apples featuring images of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Francois Hollande were packed in Aomori Prefecture on Thursday to be shipped as a gift to the French leader and others.
Employees of Sato Fukuroten Co., a farm equipment-seller in Hirosaki, carefully selected and packed apples, which also include paintings from impressionist artist Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series.
A total of some 120 decorated apples will be shipped this year.
While growing, the apples are placed in bags that block sunlight in order to make the skin pale. In autumn, a stencil is applied to the apples. As the fruit ripens, the uncovered skin reddens as normal, leaving a pattern.