Originally Posted at PNN Tokyo Stories, April 18, 2008

Honor system vegetable stand in Tokyo

Honor system vegetable stand in Tokyo

They’re pilfering the peas, snatching the shishito, walking off with the gobo. There’s a new crime wave in the neighborhood:  stealing vegetables from “honor system” produce stands.

Here in western Tokyo, there are a lot of small plots of land being farmed by local residents. The vegetables are sold in local stores, co-ops, and, at unmanned stands. Just piles of produce and a money box.

These days, vegetable theft is growing. (Yet the looters don’t take the cash.)

In Tokyo metro area supermarkets, tomatos often cost 200 JPY (about 2.00 USD). For one. Cucumbers? That’s tricky. One day 33 JPY, the next day 50, the next day 78 yen. Then 3 for 100.  Half a cabbage: 120 JPY. Three carrots, 200 JPY. (Currency converter)

“Some [of the farm stand managers] told us not to include their stand information, fearing their produce would be stolen. Some farmers seem to have given up [selling vegetables at unmanned stalls] as a lot of it is stolen.”

The Daily Yomiuri newspaper recently reported on the situation in my neighborhood!

There are some vegetable stalls near my home, along a path by the river. And, on the way,  I found a vegetable vending machine, on a corner, surrounded by houses.
Spinach and mustards at honor system vegetable stand in Tokyo, Japan

Spinach and mustards at honor system vegetable stand in Tokyo, Japan

Vegetable vending machine in Tokyo, Japan

Vegetable vending machine in Tokyo, Japan

The Daily Yomiuri story quotes an urban farmer who switched from unmanned stalls to vending machines. He spent  about thirty-thousand dollars on the machines.

This machine looks like it was formerly a locker at a school.

But the fresh-vegetable vending machine is the perfect deterrent to the villainous vegetable snatchers.
Tagged with:  
Share →

Leave a Reply