Japanese vending machines have long been famous for selling the most curious things, like flowers, umbrellas, and ties. But even with one vending machine for every 23 people and annual sales that exceed US$60 billion, one can still be surprised at what comes out of their take-out port.
User senegirl on Japanese curation site Naver Matome tells the story of three unique food vending machines found in three separate cities that have captivated Twitter.
In the city of Hiroshima, residents have been abuzz over the appearance of a pizza vending machine located near local hangout TSUTAYA, part of a national chain of bookstores in Japan.
— けろちゃんch@ようつべ配信初心者 (@Lee_sakura1210) September 1, 2018
A first in Japan? Seems that way… It’s a fresh-baked pizza vending Machine! (ha ha) I bet there’s an old guy inside making them.
The vending machine serves up two kinds of pizza: margherita (basil, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce) for about US$10 and four-cheese for about US$13 with a cooking time of just three minutes. TSUTAYA’s parent company, which is behind the vending machines, hopes to eventually have other such machines at bookstores across Japan.
In the meantime, locals are pleasantly surprised by just how tasty machine-baked pizza can be.
今日は時間がなく購入はできなかったので、また後日チャレンジします(*’▽’*)#レモスコ #ピザ pic.twitter.com/5RxFNY5ge7
— レモスコ(ヤマトフーズ) 公式 (@_lemosco) August 22, 2018
The first of its kind in Japan! A fresh baked pizza vending machine. (^^)
It’s near my word so I thought I’d go and try it. Here it is with my Lemonsco. I didn’t have time to get it, but next time I’ll give it a go! (*’▽’*)
Meanwhile, in Inashiki, a city located in the Ibaraki prefecture, about an hour by train northeast of Tokyo, one restaurant was found to have fully-functioning antique vending machines from the 1960s.
— ＢＱ B-spot explore (@B_spot_explore) March 30, 2018
Along side the national highway at an old auto stop stands an old, nostalgic vending machine where you can buy bento boxes. For 300 yen (US$3), you can purchase a bento made by nearby store.
For 300 yen, travellers can purchase a simple meat-and-rice bento box with chopsticks. There are three types to choose from: fried chicken, pork cutlet, and grilled meat, with the last being the most popular choice.
— ちが (@citrus_spp) August 31, 2018
The famous grilled meat bento machine featured on TV.
Finally, hidden in the city of Kagoshima, on the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu, lies a fresh crepe vending machine. It’s located in Kagoshima’s Tenmonkan shopping district, hidden near a bus stop and reportedly difficult to find.
Those lucky enough to find this most unusual of vending machines are treated to tasty crepes at the cost of 200 yen (about US$2).
— ꧁鳥辺 茜 エアコミケ(火)西く08b꧂ (@kirakira2nd) August 24, 2018
Kagoshima’s hidden gem: a crepe vending machine!
The vending machine serves a variety of flavours of crepe, including chocolate cream, caramel, strawberry cream, and cheese. The crepes are delivered in a glass bottle, which customers are asked to return after they are done.
With this machine being a one-of-a-kind favourite, some users are wondering if other cities also have one of their own:
— 林檎ソーダ@✝︎絶望と孤独の堕天使✝︎🐰 (@apple_soda1810) August 26, 2018
“This crepe vending machine is in Kagoshima, but does anyone else have one in their prefecture?”
“No, we don’t. You’re so lucky…”