TOKYO, May 18 – It looks exactly like a box of tobacco, but it’s not. It’s “chabacco”- a box of powdered Japanese tea leaves, and its sales in vending machines have just been launched in Tokyo Station. Each box is beautifully designed with the motifs of tea plantations, Mt. Fuji, and tea-picking ladies, for example. One box contains a total of eight sticks of powdered tea leaves in variety such as fukamushi deep steamed green tea and roasted bancha tea. It costs 500 yen per box. The chabacco vending machines were placed on May 14 in Gransta in-station shopping and dining area in Tokyo Station ahead of the World No Tobacco Day celebrated by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 31.
The machines were put by Showtime Inc., a planner of dietary education events and tea products in Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture. The company has recycled old tobacco vending machines to promote its original tea products by making the experience with green tea more fun and convenient.
The vending machines that sell chabacco boxes have so far been placed in JR Kakegawa Station for example. They are doing a good job and sold 100 boxes a day at the maximum.