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Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

Yes Fukuoka has some bananas, in vending machine

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) A vending machine selling fresh bananas, the first of its kind outside Tokyo, has debuted in the Tenjin downtown area in the city of Fukuoka, selling bunches for ¥390.

News photo
Go bananas: A girl takes a picture of a vending machine selling bunches of bananas Monday at the Tenjin downtown area of the city of Fukuoka. KYODO PHOTO

Dole Japan Inc., which set up the vending machine Monday, hopes the novel device will, like a machine in the Shibuya district in Tokyo, attract young people.

That one, set up in June, sold around 9,000 bananas in the first month.

"There should be lots of young people who love something novel in Tenjin, too," a Dole official said.

Tenjin is close to the port of Hakata, where freighters carrying bananas from the Philippines arrive twice a week, another reason the company chose to set up the vending machine there.

The machine maintains an interior temperature of 13 degrees, the best level for preserving bananas.

When a customer pays and pushes a button on the front, the machine puts the bananas on a conveyer belt, which delivers them to the slot.

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