Stop, hammer and juice time!

Japan has entered that part of the year when just about every day the weather is going to be uncomfortably hot and humid. So as our intrepid reporter Mr. Sato makes his way across Tokyo, he’s always got his eyes peeled for a way to cool off and stay rehydrated, and he spotted an extra-appealing one inside a vending machine in the Iidabashi subway station.

Vending machines selling chilled drinks are pretty common in Japanese subway stations, but this one is special in that the banana juice it sells isn’t just cold, it’s frozen! The juice comes frozen in a pouch, and the makers, Banana x Banana, say it’ll thaw in one to two hours at room temperature, seven hours in the refrigerator, or one minute and 40 seconds in the microwave.

However, even after thawing the Banana x Banana juice won’t have a uniform consistency. For the optimum texture, you need to pound on the juice pouch before pouring it, and guess what? The vending machine will even supply you with a hammer!

It’s officially called the “Plain Set,” but really, we can’t help thinking it should be called the Hammer Set instead. 1,600 yen (US$11.85) gets you a pouch of frozen banana juice, straw, insulated bag, and what the vending machine’s placard describes as “a slightly cute original hammer.”

▼ Everything comes out of the machine in the pack seen here.

After unboxing the contents, it took considerable willpower from Mr. Sato to not raise the hammer high above his head like Thor.

After waiting an hour or so for the juice to thaw, Mr. Sato firmly gripped the hammer…

…and started pounding away!

Since the purpose of this pounding is to smooth out remaining ice crystals or unblended banana, you want to give the pouch some really strong smacks. It is a little extra work, but the hammering also works as a stress reliever, with the reward of a glass of juice when you’re done.

And all the effort was worth it as soon as Mr. Sato took a sip. Each Banana x Banana frozen juice pack is made with an entire Amajukuo, a kind of banana specially bred for extra sweetness.

So in the end the Banana x Banana vending machine Plain Pack gets full marks for fun, flavor, and novelty…even if we are a little worried about Mr. Sato having the mallet sitting on his desk now, because as the old saying goes, when all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a frozen banana juice pack.

Photos © SoraNews24
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