That’s US$0.0068, making this the bargain of the year.

Our reporter Seiji Nakazawa was scrolling through Twitter the other day when he saw something that made him do a double-take. The manager of Kitchen Dive, the super-cheap Tokyo bento chain that previously caught our attention for its panda bentos, had posted this message on Twitter.

The message reads:

There’s a typhoon…sales are bad…it can’t be helped…let’s hold a festival…if this tweet…gets…3,000 retweets…we’ll sell…300…croquettes…for one yen each…5,000RT…500 croquettes…10,000 RT…1,000 croquettes…we’re selling them…for…one yen…as for the price…there’s no reason…there’ll be…if there is…it’ll be okay…everyone…if you…RT…it’ll be okay…”

With 121,000 followers on Twitter, Kitchen Dive’s unconventional message grabbed a lot of attention, including from Seiji, who had to re-read the message to check he’d read it correctly. The cheap offer was a good way to drive traffic into the store before the typhoon arrived, and by the time he’d seen the message, it had received 8,000 retweets, meaning there should be plenty of croquettes in stock. The manager had also gone on to say that though the special deal was scheduled to be held at the Kameido branch, if they had more stock they would be selling the cheap croquettes from the Okachimichi branch in Ueno too.

▼ That was good news for Seiji, who lives around Ueno, so he decided to head over to the Okachimichi store to see if they had the croquettes in stock.

▼ Sure enough, as soon as he entered the store, he saw them — croquettes for one yen (US$0.0068)!

To be precise, the store was selling the croquettes in packs of five, which still barely makes a blip on the dollar conversion, at US$0.034. Seiji wanted to bundle all the packs into his open arms, but he restrained himself, picking up just one pack and queuing up at the counter to pay, along with all the other customers who also had croquettes in their hands.

When it was his turn to pay, the store clerk told him this was a one-day deal and they usually sell 10 croquettes for 500 yen, which is still pretty cheap by Tokyo standards. On this day, though, Seiji was paying just a fraction of that, getting a 98-percent discount on his pack of five.

As soon as he got home with his bargain in hand, he opened the pack to find that the croquettes weren’t small — they were a standard size, which made them great value.

Biting into one of them, he delighted in the exquisite crunch of the fried exterior, which gave way to a smooth and rich potato filling. There seemed to be nothing but potato in the filling, and its homely, umami flavour spread beautifully over the taste buds.

The croquettes were delicious as is, and Seiji imagined they would taste good added a dollop of tonkatsu sauce too. He didn’t have any sauce in the pantry, though, so he simply had them with a bowl of rice for dinner and was full and satisfied afterwards.

The meal was made even more delicious because of the cheap-as-chips price he’d paid for it. In actual fact, this meal was cheaper than chips, and one of the cheapest deals Seiji has ever encountered! It’s just one of the many reasons to love Kitchen Dive, who previously gave away over 2,200 pounds of free food to help struggling farmers.

Shop information
Kitchen Dive (Okachimachi branch) / キッチン DIVE(御徒町店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Ueno 6-2-1
Open 24 hours

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