Sushi-kun – Cheap Sushi Vending Machine

Greg Lane
Please note: This was an April Fool’s Post, Don’t look for the sushi vending machine!

Japan is deservedly well known for its vending machines. Along with the ubiquitous soft drink machines there are machines that vend everything from noodles, to live insects to hot French fries. Now, in conjunction with Japan Rail, a company called Shikauma Foods has produced the ultimate in Japanese fast food convenience with their “sushi-kun” branded fresh sushi vending machines. Apparently the only thing stopping sushi vending machines until now has been restrictions in hygiene regulations. 6 years after allowing pre-made sushi to be sold at convenience stores, the law has again been relaxed to allow automatic vending.

On the way to a Hanami get together I had the chance to try out a Sushi-kun machine in the concourse of Tokyo station near the south entrance to the Tohoku Shinkansen.

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Rather than expose the sushi to light, the machine uses touch screen technology with a looping video of a a sushi chef (presumably Sushi kun himself). Once you press the order start button you’re given a range of choices. The sets vary from 350yen for the makizushi set through to 600 yen for a 13 piece set. I chose the 10 piece, 500yen nigiri sushi mix set. The packages are of course pre-prepared so your purchase drops straight into the collection tray after inserting the correct amount.

For something that comes from a vending machine, I couldn’t fault it. It was fresh, tasty and as good as anything you would get from a supermarket or a convenience store – with the added bonus of no queues and presumably more consistent availability.

At the moment the sushi kun machines have only been placed in major stations. However, according to their website, Shikauma plans to roll them out in JR stations throughout Tokyo. Definitely worth checking out – especially if you find yourself with a sushi urge right before a long train journey.

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Hong Kong Cheapo


Name: Sushi Kun (すし君)
Pricing info: 350 to 600yen
Address: Tokyo Station, Near southern ticket gates for Tohoku Shinkansen
Access: Tokyo Station
Business hours: 24 hours a day

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3 Responses to “Sushi-kun – Cheap Sushi Vending Machine”

  1. Avatar

    We searched high and low around the Tohoku Shinkansen southern ticket gates for this fabled vending machine, but couldn’t find it. We asked the staff at the gates, at the information desk and at the concierge desk, but nobody had heard of it. Concierge called the station staff, who confirmed that no such vending machine exists. We hope that this saves other people the effort of looking for this vending machine! Would have been very cool to try this sushi, though!

    • Avatar
      CheapoGreg December 17, 2013

      Hey there, I’m really sorry about this but this was an April Fool’s joke post! I thought people might noticed the publication date but I guess that’s a bit unlikely so I’ve put a warning at the top of the post. I must admit I did have a bit of a chuckle imagining the confused looks on faces of the station staff! 🙂

  2. Avatar

    Dear Greg,

    Thank you for the clarification on this post being a hoax.

    I just wanted to stop by to say that in my opinion, this is the kind of dissemination of falsehood that April Fool’s should not encourage (I dislike all April Fool’s jokes in general, but that’s not relevant to my point here), and to discourage you from doing so in future.

    There is no indication of the post being a hoax from reading it, even to people with generally accepted common sense (fuzzy term that could be a common sense of average North American, Japanese, or whatever other demographic you’re targeting). The entertainment value of the hoax to the reader is, in my opinion, quite low. Possibly worst of all, this is the kind of misinformation that could lead people into spending real resources (time or money spent by people to make schedule to go to Tokyo Station to check this out, perhaps, and obviously the time spent by station staff/concierge in Hungry’s post).

    I have personally told of this vending machine to several people around me many months ago as an interesting tidbit in connection with Japan, and possibly something to check out when they’re in fact in the country. I will have some awkward explanation to do if those people and I ever happen to come back to this topic in a discussion.

    As you probably realized, you are mistaken in your belief that 1) people would notice the posting date, and that 2) after having noticed that date, people would then make a not-necessarily-obvious connection between the posting date and the fact that the contents of the post is a lie.

    Without needing to consult Google Analytics or anything of the kind, I can relatively confidently tell you two things: 1) of all the people that read this post, very few percentage of people read it on April 1, which is the only day, even if that, that this type of misinformation would be acceptable (you may, as an author on the site, have a kind of projection bias in thinking that others have a similar level of familiarity, knowledge, and dedication to posts on the site) ; 2) almost nobody reads the posting dates of posts like these, unless there is some very specific reason to do so, because the posting date is not really relevant to information they’re seeking to gain by reading the post (for instance, information on where to find cheap sushi).

    In summary, you have harmed people. All I ask is that you do not do this again.

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