Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Bread in a can

Bread in a can?  Yes, another thing you can buy at vending machines in Tokyo.    I think Japan is well-known for its vending machines as the country has over 2.5 million of them and some of them sell some really bizarre stuff, but bread?  Just one of those things you wouldn’t expect out of a vending machine on the street.  Well, this one has been in Inokashira park for quite a few years at least.

The kiosk with the vending machine on the left

I’d never tried it before, but I finally put my money in, chose chocolate bread instead of the strawberry, grabbed the can and shot off home as quickly as the train would take me as I really wanted to see how it tasted.  Got home and got to work getting it, which was a little difficult, as the package was wrapped in greaseproof paper.  That made it hard because I needed to get it out as delicately as possible so I could take pictures of the contents.  But once out, the first thing I noticed was the smell, very fresh and chocolaty.  We were off to a good start!

Bread in a can - or PANCAN

The taste?  Well, it tasted like chocolate bread, no surprise there.  A little lackluster in the taste test and overly soft.  Not worth the price I thought.  I shouldn’t have been surprised, just my opinion of course, but Japan has always had a problem with bread – it just can’t get it right.  I love Japanese food, but this country doesn’t really seem to understand bread.  For ¥550 I was expecting a lot more.

From left to right - bee larvae; grasshoppers; strawberry bread; chocolate bread

I think most people would buy canned bread as something to write on their Facebook page to impress their friends.  Seriously, there are bakeries in Kichijoji where you could buy cheaper and just as delicious bread.  Then again, I guess for the hardcore vending machine addict, it would definitely be one they’d have on their bucket list.

This is what you get for 550 yen - not bad, but not that great either

But if you are after impressive, then the cans next to the bread might be what you are after. Those cans were grasshoppers and bee larvae.  No mistake … grasshoppers and bee larvae.  Dead … of course.  I think a Facebook post of you eating those might get someone’s attention, but it would be an expensive thing to do.  The grasshoppers will cost you ¥900, while the bee larvae will set you back a whopping ¥2300!!!  I think I could do it cheaper with a butterfly net, an old Coca-Cola can and a walk through the woods.  Until then I’ll pass on the bee larvae as the asking price is a little over the top as far as I’m concerned.

Food on top and purses underneath. What a great combo!

If you want to visit this machine it is very easy to find, just go to Inokashira park and enter via the entrance that is closest to the station (so enter via the road that goes past Marui and keep it on your left side).  Once in the park the kiosk will be just ahead of you on the left.