You’d maybe expect to find such a long row of vending machines in a busy urban place but this collection of retro machines is actually located in the middle of nowhere. It is also located next to a used tyre market. However, due to viral videos on YouTube and appearances on TV it actually does have a steady flow of visitors passing by to see what’s available from the machines. You name it, this place has got it.
This place is in Sagamihara and is best visited by car but as ever I decided to go on foot. It’s accessible via that method from Banda Station and the walk takes about half an hour but does require going down an overgrown riverside path and through a fairly smelly countryside area. It’s all worth it though when you get to see such a variety of machines.
There are ¥100 Coke and Pepsi glass bottle machines (I bought one of each) and there’s even a drinks machine (below) offering one litre cola and sprite as well as champagne!! I can’t say I was too surprised at all to see that none of these larger drinks were in stock.
With a budget of ¥1500 (a little ridiculous for lunch but this was a special occasion!) I set about seeing what I could get. Similarly to the vending machine restaurant in Gunma, I set my sights on a few items. The first thing I had was a burger (below) and there were three options (¥280 each); hamburger, cheeseburger and teriyaki burger. I stumped for the latter and it certainly won’t win any awards for it’s scrunched up appearance. The taste was ok but no better than one of the much cheaper ¥100 ones you can buy in a convenience store.
Next up was ramen. I really wanted to have the chashu ramen as I had seen YouTuber EricSurf6 eat that and thought it looked pretty impressive for ¥400 as it had a whole egg and many pieces of chashu meat in it. Sadly though it was not available so I had to settle for regular ramen (below) costing ¥300. The main difficulty was getting the bowl out of the machine and over to one of the barrel tables as it was steaming hot and full to the brim. It was also 36 degrees on the day I went and sweat was literally dripping off me and nearly going into the ramen on occasion!
Ham cheese toast (below) was next on the menu for ¥300 and as you have (hopefully!) seen in the video, was very basic and a little burned. The taste was satisfying enough but no way was it worth that money! You don’t come to such places for taste though as it’s all about the experience which is fun!
The final dish of the day was oden in a can (below) for ¥280. These have been available in Akihabara for many, many years now but I had just never got round to trying one. Washed down with a glass bottle of Pepsi cola (¥100), this was surprisingly much better than expected but I am the kind of person who thinks all oden tastes the same whether it be in a restaurant, a convenience store or a can!
As they’re retro machines, it should be noted that some of them don’t accept notes and some can’t even take ¥500 coins so a couple of times I had to buy some cheap candy (mint taiyaki candy for ¥60 and candy cigarettes for ¥30 if you must know!) just to get the loose change I needed.
A few more machines that I didn’t get anything from feature in the next few pictures below. A hot food machine sold popular Japanese meals like curry rice, katsudon, chahan, grilled rice balls, karaage chicken and other such stuff. Another machine was selling different flavours of popcorn as well as bread in a can! Of course I was tempted but I’d already spent close to ¥1500 so decided to give it a miss.
- These retro machines are located at 2661-1 Shimomizo, Minami-Ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa-ken. It’s about 30 minutes on foot from Banda Station on the Sagami Line.
On the way back to Banda Station I came across these onions (below) on sale. No need for any vending machine here. Just a good old fashioned honesty box!
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