November 2020 – Vending After the Apocalypse

Published on Author admin

I took a tour of the spookiest vending machines in Japan. I also bought some donuts.

日本の一番怖い無人販売所を訪ねました。 そしてドーナツを買いました。

Bring Quarters and Watch Out for Zombies

The pandemic has kept me from my second home, Akihabara, for most of this year. I’m not the only one, as the lack of tourists has caused some famous locations to shut down. One of the first sites that greats you upon exiting the station is the “human gerbil habitat” of Tsukumo, which is now closed. One of the bigger Sega arcades closed without a trace. Of course, smaller shops are closing as well. I wonder what will be left on the other side.


However, I heard about a strange collection of vending machines just outside of the famous “Electric City” area and figured I could tour it without unnecessarily risking entering any stores. The site is the open first floor of a gray building that really should have collapsed by now. The vending machines are lined up to create narrow, poorly-lit, twisting corridors, making it tough to bend enough to pick up purchases. Some of the machines were really old, others sold strange goods like plastic bugs, canned curry and fish soup, and mysterious packages wrapped in dense Japanese writing.


The mystery packages interested me the most. I didn’t take the time to translate much of the writing, but I got the impression they were non-fiction essays on various topics. Naturally, none of them were worth buying.

不思議な小包は一番面白かったです。内容を翻訳をしなかったけれど、いろいろな話題のノンフィクションの作文だという印象を持ちました。もちろん ぼったくりでした。

I Choose You, Ball of Sugar!

Desperate for content for this blog, I purchased some time-limited Pokemon donuts from Mr. Donut. I don’t really like Mr. Donut donuts as they are weirdly chewy, like they accidentally dumped a package of gummi worms into the batter. But Pokemon donuts were cute. And the extravagant cardboard stands they had to use to keep them intact on the walk home looked profit-devouring.