Japan is famous for vending machines. While most sell soft drinks and coffee, there are some unusual ones selling batteries, umbrellas, and bottles of sake. Add insects to that list.
In Japanese, the word 昆虫食 (konchuushoku) means “insect eating”.
During the past few years, it seems, there has been an increasing number of vending machines selling insect snacks. Keep in mind, these types of vending machines are still are a rarity and there does appear to only be a handful across the country.
But they do exist in a variety of locations, including Nakano Broadway in Tokyo, Akihabara, Sakai in Osaka, Fukuoka, and more.
These snacks are rather expensive, with a can of Armour Tail Scorpion costing 1,500 yen ($20) and Zebra Tarantula reaching 2,600 yen ($34). You can get bug kebabs, crickets, and rhino beetles, as well as more, perhaps, palatable chocolate-covered grasshoppers.
昆虫食自動販売機があった????— Bananamaya (@Daniel_masanari) June 3, 2020
Canned mixed bugs. This is my favorite vending machine sighting to date. Spotted in Nakano Broadway. pic.twitter.com/wy6piuuffv— Matt Alt (@Matt_Alt) August 25, 2020
この昆虫食自販機はアツいな。https://t.co/TaKWcUnpBt— ムシモアゼルギリコ＠むしくい (@mushikui_net) August 17, 2020
町中に昆虫食の自動販売機がありました。コオロギ、タガメ、オケラ、カブト虫、竹虫、幼虫蛹ミックスなどなど。意外といいお値段。 pic.twitter.com/od6IzlwDNk— 関島岳郎 (@sekizima) May 22, 2020
There’s a broth vending machine near my apartment featuring whole fish in a bottle, but this…— Justin Leeper だよ！ (@JustinLeeper_yo) July 31, 2020
EDIBLE BUG VENDING MACHINE
???? ???? ????????
Never seen anything like this.
YouTubers have been doing tastings.
(YouTuber Katsumata Museum did not seem to enjoy this can of bugs, calling eating it “truly a batsu game.”)
This YouTuber, however, said eating his bug was, “Enjoyable.”
This YouTuber added different condiments.
Recently, a handful of bugs-as-food books have been released in Japan, so this does seem to be a trend of some sort — albeit as of now, a minor one!