Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Honor System

Another interesting aspect of Japan. Actually, this may happen in the states and other rural areas, and I just haven't been aware of it until now. When I was backpacking across the many country roads and small towns of Shikoku, I occasionally came across some unmanned shops. Completely unmanned – no cameras, no people, barely within sight of a house, and its food products waiting to be bought.

If you live in a less-than-urban part of Japan, it's very likely you have seen a food stand with fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, leaving only a small coin box to submit payment. What surprised me most is just how cheap this fresh produce really is: you can buy apples, oranges, and sometimes a bag of carrots for only one hundred yen.

Take advantage of this trust system set up by your friendly neighborhood farmers and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Eat well, and pay accordingly.


Shari said...

I used to see this type of thing at times back home in rural Pennsylvania. I think people who do t his are indifferent to getting the money but, generally speaking, they trust the people in the community.

J said...

I live on the outskirts of Tokyo, and there are a couple places like this not far from where I live. They might put the "high-end" produce like broccoli into a 100-yen coin locker, but other stuff like cabbage is just sitting out with a box next to it to put your coins in. Amazing.

srd said...

I've also seen this in rural PA and upstate NY. They were selling pies and homemade stuff. Out in the country, at least in the USA, people are more honest and since it takes a car to get to these places you have some income level and integrity.

This works at many things-once I read where a restaurant didn't have prices on the menu-you paid what you thought it was worth. Revenue was higher than expected. Of course, this was only available to select people.