We attempt to get over our dislike of eating insects by… eating some insects.

Say ‘Japanese vending machine’ to people living outside of Japan and you may get some unscrupulous responses, but the truth is for the most part, Japanese vending machines tend to sell nothing but drinks. Vending machines selling food have seen an increase in popularity in recent years, but despite what urban myths might have you believe, you’d be hard pressed to find a vending machine in Japan that sold something truly weird and wacky.

That’s not to say that Japan is completely void of vending machines with unique wares, though, and statistically speaking, the more vending machines in one place, the more likely one of them is to contain something remarkable. So when our Hokkaido Prefecture-based reporter Atol heard that a new store dedicated entirely to vending machines with unusual contents had opened nearby, they knew she had to head there post haste.

The store, called ‘Jihanki Land‘ (or ‘Vending Machine Land‘) is located in Sapporo City’s Shiroishi Ward. As Atol approached the store, they were immediately met with some vending machines selling ramen, but not just any old ramen; heavyweights in the ramen world, like Hakata Ramen and Ramen Jiro.

They also sold ox tongue, which must have been pretty high quality as it was 2,500 yen (US$19.36) for 2 pieces of 80 grams (2.82 ounces). But as delicious as the ox tongue surely was, that’s not what Atol was here for. They were here to find the weird and wacky that could only …continue reading