You can buy a lot of things out of vending machines in Japan. Vast ranges of tiny plastic toys, Calorie Mate snacks, hot drinks, cold drinks, hot soup, cooked food (chicken and chips at motorway services), oxygen canisters (at the top of Mt. Fuji), manga (in train stations), beer, cigarettes. Infamously some machines sell panties. Many are outfitted with cameras to scan ID cards (for beer and tobacco), scanners to read Pasmo and Suica cards for digital payment, and security cameras enabled with direct lines to the police in the event they witness some kind of crime.
They also sell bread.
It seems strange to see bread in a vending machine. But is it so strange? In the UK vending machines selling crisps, chocolate bars and the like are commonplace. You don’t see those much in Japan. But, bread? It’s a far more perishable good than any of those other items. It goes off within days. Could any vending machine possibly turn over enough bread to make it worthwhile?
Wouldn’t every piece of bread in there be stale in a matter of days? Wouldn’t it be foul?
Well, that’s what I’m here for, to find out.
Here I target my victim, a 100yen Chocolate Roll. You are mine, chocolate roll. Mwahahah.
Here is the proof that I bought the victim, and am man-handling it in front of its home. I don’t feel bad about it. I just bought it.
Here is another shot of the victim, from my balcony.
I settled down to watch the latest episode of the Office with this chocolate roll and the pumpkin custard pudding drink. I was quite cautious about eating both.
So, was the bread stale? Well, maybe. It’s hard to tell. It was not too hard and dry, it was almost completely flavorless, but a lot of convenience store bread tastes like that anyway. Even the chocolate tastes papery. Believe it or not, this 100 yen roll also had cream inside it, but apart from a slightly different texture, it all tasted the same.
And it wasn’t even warm! How hard is it to heat up my choco roll, vending machine? Shocking.
Not worth it, except for the empty calories. But fun.