Monday, November 17, 2014

Can you believe there are stores without any staff in Japan?

Overseas visitors to Japan are often surprised by the sheer number and variety of vending machines in the country. But there’s something which might just surprise them even more: Unmanned stores (mujin hanbai). A typical example would be a small hut or stall by the side of a field stocked with some fruit and vegetables, with a note on a box saying, “Please put the money in here.”

After selling their crops to the market, farmers might then here sell the leftovers from their own personal supply. This means that the vegetables sometimes have markings or otherwise is not in the “perfect” condition demanded for sale on the regular market. But while the food may not always look wonderful, the taste will be just fine. Farmers, of course, don’t want to throw things away so by selling leftovers like

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