Strange Vending Machinesare everywhere in Japan. When visiting the Tokyo area many people have some idea of what they want to do and see during their visit to the biggest city in the world. There is so much you can experience in Tokyo and still leave saying to yourself “I just never had enough time to see it all”. A main tourist area in Japan is Akihabara in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo.
Akihabara is a condensed name of Akibagahara (秋葉が原) or Akiba (秋葉) which was named after a firefighting shrine that was built when the area was destroyed by fire in 1869.
Akihabara gained the nickname “Electric Town” just after World War II due to being a major shopping area for household electronic goods and the post-war black market. Today though, Akihabara is considered by many to be a geek or Otaku culture center and a shopping district for video games, manga, anime and computer needs. Not only that but there are various chain restaurants in the area, many maid cafes and big chain electronic stores. Yodabashi camera is believed to be the biggest electronics store in Japan if not the world. When walking around sightseeing this amazing place, the streets are lined with maid cafe girls handing out pamphlets, cat and owl cafes seem to be in ever corner of every building too.
The one thing that is a must when visiting Akihabara is the Strange Vending Machine corner. It truly is not much to see but the eerie feeling one gets visiting is truly unique. Nestled in a quiet corner area just 10 min walk from Akihabara station, you can find some of the oldest and craziest item machines available. Most machines offer a “secret box” purchase (which usually consists of not much) various drink items,a condom machine, a popcorn machine, canned yakisoba and even mechanical beetles. When I arrived to this corner for the first time I was actually a bit surprised at the lack of traffic that actually passes by. I was under the impression it would be a busy corner with many people throwing away their hard earned coins on crazy items just to say they went. Yes, I had the distinct pleasure of throwing away a few coins too.
What truly threw me for a loop was when my friend translated some of the signs hanging around the place. As an example
and now I wish I had taken the photo of it…it read something along the lines of – “Do not pee here or I will catch you on video and put you on the internet” something like that. Damn I wish I had to go pee at the time now that I think about it . After taking in the atmosphere and actually throwing a few coins away getting those damn secret boxes (ya, got me some cookies) I had enough and decided best to go explore Akihabara again.
It truly is a “must do” list thing just don’t plan spending too much time there due to the fact you might still miss it even if you walk by. You see, as you walk by you might just think it is just a run down place…Oh but it is..but it still is the Strange Vending Machine Corner…beware!
It truly is a house of horrors…ok not really but doesn’t it sound good?