Feb 3, 2011

Coupons... and I don't mean the discount ones

What I find interesting is, Japan has given coupons another meaning. Coupons to me, are advertisements with dotted lines for us to cut out, so that we can redeem a discount or a gift during our purchases. But it means more in Japan.

For my bentos and bus rides, I have to use coupons too. Here's how it works:

A bento company provides the lunch bentos for the employees in the school. If you would like to subscribe to their service, then...

First, you have to select which kind of bento (advantage--means L size, normal, light--means S size, if compared to clothes sizes), and then base on the bento type, buy in advance the bento coupons. I order the light lunch, which is 6000yen for 21 bento coupons.

Second, just a day before, circle on the namelist that you would like to have bento for tomorrow, and deposit a bento coupon in a metal tin.

And collect your bento the next day!

The bento is different every day, but you don't have a choice of what bento you want. So you can choose whether to order for the day or not instead.

Of course, I can pay with coins. But if you buy coupons, it is slightly cheaper. 1000yen for 11 coupons worth 100yen each.

Then when I alight, drop the 整理券 (serikan, ticket which you collect when you board) and the coupons in the money box. (More about taking a bus in Japan)

Wonder if they use coupons for other services too?