Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Banana Vending Machine and Nissin Instant Ramen Diners At Shibuya Station

One morning, during my trip to Japan I went looking for that fabled banana vending machine from Dole.   At the same time I wanted to see if this wonderful 3D cat billboard with fur was still up at the station.  Well, the cat poster for the Kuroneko Yamato (Black Cat Yamato) shipping service was gone if the station attendant was correct, and I didn't see it, so I continued on my quest for the banana vending machine.  Well, I checked the main station, then referred to a single sentence from a blog post that I had copied down.  Well, the location was near a Book-off near exit 3.  I checked some maps of the station and figured it must be in the Tokyo Metro part of the station as it wasn't in the JR East portion which doesn't use numbers for the exits.  So I explored out in the metro part of the station and it turns out that you can go a pretty long way - all the way to Shibuya 109 underground.  No need to go above and brave the crowds at Shibuya Crossing.  I wandered around but didn't see it then realized it might be on another level as I looked at the Exit 3 on B1 and then I went down to B2 and there it was, the mythical vending machine!
I was all over the station looking for the cat poster first.

Some parts of the Tokyo Metro Shibuya Station were really nicely decorated.
B1 Level for Exit 3.  Looks very scifi-ish, but no vending machine.  I almost gave up here.
Then I took some other stairs down to the B2 level and there it was!  Dole!
Here is the Dole banana vending machine.  So cool to see it for real.
You can buy a banana for 130 yen (little over a dollar), bunches of bananas, banana chips, and dried mangos.  Mission successful.
During my searches I discovered that Nissin had two pop-up diners serving their instant ramen / udon on the Yamanote line platforms both on the direction North Platform and the direction South Platform.  I was there too early for one, and not hungry enough to try it the other time.  I've found that it is really hard to eat your way through Tokyo as there is too much to try and eat!!!  I don't know if these popup shops are still there, but they were there during the 2nd week of April and there were even short lineups for them.
Nissin Roah Seafood Soy Sauce Instant Ramen Popup Diner.  Get a bowl of ramen for 300 yen.
I like their deluxe Raoh line of instant noodles so I should have tried this new product.   I did another blog post about their classic Raoh instant noodle bowls here. I just wish their North American ramen products were this fancy.
It looked pretty nicely setup as a rail car for a quick cheap bite!
Meanwhile on the platform going the other direction for the Yamanote Line, they had their Udon shop set up.  This looks like a nice traditional shop instead of the rail car.  There is even a sign post out front and a ramen selection vending machine where you buy your ticket first as there are more choices to eat!
Ramen Bowl Vending Machine.  Pick your flavour and customize a bit.
Iive tried both the inari (fried sweet tofu) and tempura bowls and they are very tasty.  I was on the platform early so they weren't open yet.
This is a closeup of the Kitsune Udon Bowl.  I have a blog post about this and the tempura bowl here.

More Japan and Tokyo Pop Culture Posts here.


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