During activity, lunch, flex, or even between classes, the Kiosk is packed with students. It is perhaps ASIJ’s most popular place; any student, regardless of age or grade level has been there. Acting as ASIJ’s personal “combini,” many students agree that they spend more money at the Kiosk than anywhere else on campus.
“Is the Kiosk overpriced?” is a question that has crossed the minds of most ASIJ students. To get an idea as to why the Kiosk may be relatively expensive, for what it offers, Hanabi interviewed some of our fellow students to grasp the student perspective.
One senior replied, “I heard that a lot of the food and ingredients are imported from the States. That might be why it’s so expensive.” Others speculated that since transportation and delivery costs have to be considered, some things may be more expensive than the average convenience store. Some students found the coffee or string cheese overpriced, especially in comparison to prices outside of school.
School supplies sold there can also be a little pricey, with binders and other essentials to school easily rising over ¥1,000. However, most of the school supplies are imported from the USA; they are products not easily found outside of school, so the price may be considered reasonable from another view. We also know that Japan is one of the most expensive countries in the world, something that most likely factors into the prices.
When asked, Kiosk staff informed us that they determine the prices of their products “depending on how much work [they] believe the object is worth.” Asukui Krishner, a cashier at the kiosk, explained, “Obviously we need to make profits off the things we sell, which is why the prices can be high.”
If students perceive that the Kiosk really is overpriced, then why do students buy from it? A freshman student explained, “The Kiosk is expensive, but it’s worth the extra money. I would rather buy a coffee from the kiosk for ¥220 than from the vending machine for ¥140.” This demonstrates that although the Kiosk is expensive, students were still willing to pay that much for it, as it was “worth the price.” In addition, a junior stated, “It is a little overpriced, but I would rather have an overpriced Kiosk than not have one. Honestly, we’re fortunate to have one.”
Other students said that it is hard for them to buy snacks before they come to school each morning, so the Kiosk is their only option for snacks throughout the day. In addition, not only does the Kiosk offer food, but it also provides school supplies that are made just for students at ASIJ. The reason for the Kiosk’s popularity seems to be quality and convenience, which may prove that although there may be a little extra money required, it is worth the price.
The Kiosk allows ASIJ students easy access to school supplies, food, and other things that are essential to life at ASIJ. It is a significant part of life at ASIJ, and it is undeniable that it allows students to have a better school experience.