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Life in Japan: Fresh Produce, Not Perfect

One of the joys of living in the outskirts of Tokyo is the wonderful blending of rural and urban elements. Five minutes from a super-department store you may find yourself walking between fields of corn, beans, and eggplant. But it doesn’t end there. Many of these fields have a small stand that faces the road. The farmers who tend the field sell the perfect vegetables to grocery stores and distributors. But where do the imperfect vegetables go? As it turns out, they go into these roadside stands, to be sold at a discount to anyone who doesn’t mind a little extra effort in produce shopping.

One might wonder how a busy farmer would have time to man a small produce stand which likely makes them less than $100 profit each day. The answer: they don’t! A lockbox is secured to the stand with a slot to drop your money in! In more rural areas, we have seen stands where you basically just leave your coins inside the stand, untended and unsecured. Such is life in a country that prides itself in honesty and fairness.

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