Vending machine sells frozen ramen, dumplings in Tokyo subway

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A vending machine for frozen ramen and gyoza

Tokyo Metro Co. has installed a vending machine in a subway station that sells frozen ramen and gyoza dumplings from famous restaurants. Restaurant business in the commercial areas within train stations, called ekinaka, has been sluggish due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this vending machine is intended to capture new demand.

The machine was installed in Iidabashi Station on the Namboku Line. Ramen from three restaurants and gyoza from another restaurant are available. The ramen costs ¥1,000 to ¥1,100 and the dumplings cost ¥800, all prices include tax.

Ippudo’s ramen pack contains noodles, soup and chashu pork. A set of cold storage bags and ice packs can be purchased for ¥200. The products will be replaced on an irregular basis.

Conventional frozen vending machines can only handle products with a fixed shape such as ice cream. Vending machines that can handle a variety of packaging have been developed, and more and more are being installed. A Tokyo Metro official said, “There is a lot of demand for purchases that are not face-to-face, and we want to increase sales.