The Yomiuri ShimbunNARITA, Chiba — A capsule-toy vending machine featuring handicrafts and other specialties made in Asian and African nations has appeared at a Narita Airport shop, with each available for ¥300.
Called One-Village, One-Product Market, the shop was established by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and the Japan External Trade Organization in 2006 on the fourth floor of the airport’s Terminal 1 building to promote specialty goods made in developing countries.
The shop sells about 300 ethnically diverse items from 46 countries, including craft products, clothing and accessories, as well as processed food.
In this instance, the shop has taken notice of the popularity of “gacha-gacha” vending machines, which offer small, cheap items. Gacha-gacha machines usually contain several versions of an item in a capsule plastic ball, and you never know which one you will get.
“We hope visitors will feel free to try the machine and become more interested in products and industries in developing countries,” said Hitomi Yonemoto, 27, who is the shop’s manager.
The shop’s machine offers 12 products, such as an owl lucky charm from Cambodia, mini giraffe key chains from Madagascar and a spoon from Myanmar. Some are too big to be contained in capsules, so each one contains a number card instead. Visitors then exchange the cards for the corresponding items.