Just look at this banana vending machine in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Just look at it.

Shibuya Banana Vending Machine (Thanks, Brent!)


57 Responses to “Just look at this banana vending machine in Shibuya, Tokyo.”

  1. Kevin Pierce says:

    Single banana from Japanese vending machine: ¥130 ($1.47 in US Dollars)
    Single banana at Trader Joe’s: 19¢

    • tyger11 says:

      Is that Trader Joes in Japan? If not, then the price difference is meaningless. I’d like to know what the regular price of a banana is in Japan.

      • echolocate chocolate says:

        Very roughly twice as expensive. { Fruit is expensive } x { exchange rate to US$ sucks }.

        Yes, individual servings of fresh fruit in a vending machine are crazy expensive, fancy that.

        • tyger11 says:

          Are these coming from Ecuador (assumption) through the US, to Japan, or straight from Ecuador (or wherever) to Japan?

          • echolocate chocolate says:

            According to this page on the Dole website: http://dole.co.jp/products/fruits/banana01.html (just look at it), they mostly come from the Philippines. I assume they go to Japan directly cause bananas are pretty common in the supermarkets.

    • nixiebunny says:

      But does your Trader Joe’s banana have a plastic wrapper with groovy Japanese writing? No.

    • Preston Sturges says:

      Well it depends on location.  Yes, you can spend some ungodly sum for a watermelon (like $100) if you want to buy one on the mezzanine of the Tokyo subway station.

    • duncancreamer says:

      Single banana from Japanese vending machine: ¥130 ($1.47 in US Dollars)
      Single banana in Costa Rica: 0$ (US in US Dollars)

  2. I think the wrapper is hilarious…since they come prepackaged in a banana peel already…

    • Preston Sturges says:

      Well there has to be a package so they can print the word “Banana” on it so consumers can be confident that this is a banana and not some strange novelty product, and then there is also a tiny picture of a banana, presumably for people who can’t read the label or see the banana through the bag.

  3. Tavie says:

    Don’t ever stop, you crazy, magnificent fool.

  4. Tavie says:

    Seriously, I laugh every time.

  5. Nagurski says:

    It’s kind of Dole to add the plastic bagging to bananas that Mother Nature couldn’t. 

  6. Warren_Terra says:

    It’s really the plastic wrap that sells it – the edible part of the banana being after all already encased in a durable skin. Are they going to branch out and add individually plastic-wrapped oranges, too?

    • Christopher says:

      Yes, and just wait ’til you see what they do to nuts.

    • Stefan Jones says:

      As I understand it, the Japanese are really into packaging. A combination of concerns about hygiene and traditional presentation culture.

      I recall reading that simple, convenience-store purchases were often carefully wrapped and bagged in front of the customer, even if the item was due for immediate consumption.

      • echolocate chocolate says:

        Maybe a slight exaggeration, but not by much. Certainly the packaging culture is so ingrained that even when you ask for the item without a bag, they will stick a small sticker on the item to indicate that it has been purchased.

        And everything is packaged in individual servings–no giant bags of snacks. The first time I saw a box of 12 individually-wrapped McVities Digestive Biscuits at the supermarket, it blew my mind.

        • jhoosier says:

          A bag of individually wrapped cashew nuts.  Just picture it.  I had a photo at home, not sure if it’s still there.

          Some places are trying to get out of the packaging obsession.  Lots of people have eco-bags (bring-your-own canvas/nylon bags), and you can get a small ( 2yen) discount if you don’t use any bags.  But if you go to a fast-food restaurant and order a value meal, you’re going to get the hamburger in a paper bag, the fries in another paper bag, your drink in a paper bag with a cardboard insert to prevent it from tipping over, and then each of those bags placed in a large plastic bag.  It’s ridiculous.

  7. Stefan Jones says:

    Kind of odd to have a single-product machine.

    Although, come to think of it, there was an apple vending machine in my high school. I think they were pretty common at one time.

    • Dlo Burns says:

       At one of the highschools i visited there was a candy apple machine that ‘made’ them (punches stick in apple, applies sheet of ‘caramel’ to apple, heats it to melt it). It was broken when I saw it but someone explained it to me and I wondered if some dude comes by regularly to replace the apples and why wasn’t there an option just to sell the apples by themselves. I could of used them in my painting class when we needed to do a still-life, the cafeteria only had bananas.

  8. Seg says:

    Is “Just look at it!” a new Boing Boing series?

    Serious question!

  9. robcat2075 says:

    It’s a great banana until it drops five feet to the bottom of the machine .

  10. NelC says:


  11. Roose_Bolton says:

    This banana series is gonna pay off in a big way, I can feels it.

  12. Stefan Jones says:

    Actually, this is machine dispenses cleverly disguised sex toys. A big favorite at Tokyo metro area “love hotels.”

    Just look away . . .

  13. I live in Montreal and have noticed, for the first time, bunches of bananas in plastic bags in some supermarkets. I assumed it was a spoilage thing as I read somewhere —  maybe here — that plastic wrapping fruits and veggies is actually “greener” in that they last longer? 

    • sam1148 says:

      Most time when produce is pre-packaged, It’s for things like grapes where they can fall on the floor and people slip on them.
      And when they want to speed checkout with pre weighed packages for self-checkout.
      Quite a few discount stores only sell things like bell peppers, bananas in unit priced bag with scanner codes.

  14. Lurking_Grue says:

    There is always money in the banana stand.

  15. DevinC says:

    I cannot look at this banana vending machine.  I”m too busy looking at the ground so I don’t step in frozen banana shards and at the rooftops for banana snipers.

  16. sam1148 says:

    Now I think off it, the packaging probably helps keep the machine clean more so than the banana.
    I’d bet after a few months of those metal spirals rubbing on the banana they’d probably attract flies–plus they look they’d be a PITA to clean. 

  17. Wouldn’t this lead to every banana coming out bruised?

  18. sloopy312 says:

    i am not eating anything that doesn’t come in a wrapper in a wrapper

  19. tacochuck says:

    Odd that every one is the last item of the row.

  20. jhoosier says:

    Even weirder than banana vending machine is the fresh flower vending machine.

    Beer vending machines are a godsend, however.

  21. greggman says:

    I don’t get why this is interesting. I’ve seen bananas in vending machines all over the world. Here’s an example: 


    and the concept goes back until at least the 1920s 

    Individually wrapped bananas in the US/UK


    and i’ve certainly seen them in other countries as well

    I guess because it’s “in Japan” it somehow becomes exotic/cool even when it’s not?

  22. Doesn’t the bag trap the ethylene and make the banana ripen crazy-fast?

  23. DreamboatSkanky says:

    For the sniper on the go!

  24. sigdrifa says:

    Goes right along with DelMonte’s individually packaged banana :)


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