Tokyo Photoglut: A Vending Machine for Every Occasion

Tokyo tower
I have a lot to say about Tokyo, most of which I will probably say very soon in this space. But for now: Tokyo, Japan is weird in every single way I could possible have wanted it to be, and a weekend is nowhere near enough time to revel in its glorious absurdities. That said, we certainly did try–I don’t think I’ve ever travelled so hard, hoofed around that much of a city, nor seen so many things in so little time. I was well-fed and well-weirded and my eyeballs were never without things to gawp at. Every last yen I spent (and that’s a lot, because, as you may already know, HOLY CRAPBALLS Japan is expensive) was worth it for an unyielding battery of bizarre. Let us feast our eyes on both the nutty and the pretty, both of which Tokyo has in abundance.


Vending machines

No cell phones, no smoking

Only 100 yen!


Unlike China, which thrashed me mercilessly for my lack of Mandarin ability, Japan was delightfully accessible to the Japaneseless idiot abroad. People were more than willing to embrace and commune with my boorish pointings and grunts, and many restaurants blessedly, stupendously had vending machine devices for all of their food. Put in your money (get rid of all of your coins), get a ticket, hand ticket to food people, stand around forlornly until they gesture you to your dish. Convenient!

Press for tasty

First udon

Sushi platter

It’s time for a mid-post shrine and temple toga party. Get your festive hats!


Goodnight shrine



The wash-station in front of most of the shrines had a very particular ritual in terms of dipping and washing and rinsing and then gargling but not drinking the water. Also, it was generally picturesque.

Dip, rinse; dip, rinse





This is my travel-buddy for Tokyo, Thanh, who has been mentioned in these electronic pages before. She found us the Tokyo Parasite Museum, the banana vending machine, and a prison/hospital themed bar where we were locked in cages. She knows where to find the weird.


Sumo banners

14 thoughts on “Tokyo Photoglut: A Vending Machine for Every Occasion

  1. Excellent!!!!!! Thanks for share!! I wish go to Japan as you. Nihon daisuki :”>
    Can I use your picture in this post.
    i will write full source .

  2. Michael, sorry I have been awol for a while but I have been launching this new $3 million business for the Kidney Foundation so my part-time work has ballooned to 65 hour work weeks. Anyway, great shots above; looking forward to getting to Japan some time. I will try to find time this weekend to go back and get caught up on your Blog. Cheers, Glenn

    • Thanks!

      My camera is a Canon 500d (I believe — I have the Korean model, which goes under the nom de plume “Kiss X3”; it’s a pretty standard starter DSLR), and my lens is just the standard 18-50 kit that came with it. I really want to buy a new lens when I am back in Canada or before I leave Korea.

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