Stumbling across quirky vending machines in unexpected places is one of the many unique joys of living in Japan. The oddly named Rat Sunrise tyre shop in Kanagawa, however, has gone all-in on gimmicky dispensers.
To give customers something to do while they wait, this long-running tyre business in Sagamihara has assembled a collection of 90 vending machines. Far from the modern, digital vending machines found at Tokyo’s busiest train stations, the old-school machines here look as though they’ve come straight out of the 1960s – and many of them have.
Densely packed into an area about 50 metres wide, the retro vending machines have become an attraction of their own, drawing visitors who don’t even need their tyres changed. The chunky old contraptions may look a bit antiquated, but everything here is fully functional and ready to dispense snacks and even hot meals for people passing through the area.
Available snacks range from ice cream to popcorn – listen closely and you’ll be able to hear the kernels popping inside the machine as the bag is heated. Or skip the appetisers and go straight for a main: you can choose from dishes including hot udon noodles, ramen and curry rice, all straight from the vending machines.
Don’t fancy eating? Not all the machines dispense food. If you wander further down the row, you’ll find ones that dispense toy model sets and even fortune slips for those feeling down on their luck. If you get a bad fortune on your slip, don’t worry. Just tie it to the adjacent wire fence before you drive home to leave those bad omens behind you.
You'll find Rat Sunrise at: 2661-1 Shimomizo, Minami, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
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