Travel and the unique gastronomic experience that the place offers go together well. In Japan, vending machines are used in ways I did not expect. Ramen, soba, kastu, sushi, sashimi, and all the common Japanese food you can imagine can be bought through vending machines.
We've seen several of these vending machine restaurants while walking along the streets of Akihabara. In fact, we dined in one of those ramen houses after a tiring day of shopping and touring. These types of restaurants use the machines as their ordering system. The whole restaurant menu is displayed in the big vending machines outside the establishment using either pictures or plastic food replicas together with their corresponding prices in Japanese Yen.
We only have the food representation of as a guide on what to expect because all the names were written in Japanese. Customers would then pay with coins on the slots provided and a piece of paper comes out. Only then will you enter the restaurant to hand that piece of paper to the waitress who will have your order prepared and served to your preferred table.
It is commonly cramped inside these restaurants but the food serving is
really large. The size alone and the rich authentic flavors compensate
for the hefty price. Food is quite expensive in these restaurants. Some
single dishes were priced as high as 1,800 - 2,000 Yen. Because we're on
a budget, we ordered the cheapest medium-sized bowl of ramen with
roasted pork, priced at 680 Yen. Still, the serving was too large for
One piece of advice - if you are to eat in an authentic ramen house and
you don't have a huge appetite, share the serving of ramen with someone.
The servings in the malls are smaller and way cheaper. It's the
experience that we paid for; and we did not regret it at all. If given
the chance to go back to Japan, we'd do it again, but we'll be more
© content and photos by Athena Goodlight