Our insects come with something heavy, metallic, and nothing to do with insects at all.

Although Japanese crack reporter Mr. Sato had heard all about vending machines stocking edible insects in Kumamoto, a trip there would take several hours he could not afford. Tokyo might have one hidden away somewhere, but he did not have much luck locating it.

So imagine his surprise when he spotted one right in front of the memorable insect joint he once visited in what seemed like eons ago.

▼ 24-hour access meant that a protein snack was within reach any time of the day.

Mr. Sato chose an unfortunate time to satisfy his insect cravings, however, as it was raining cats and dogs all over Tokyo. Vainly fending off rain with his tiny little umbrella, he started having second thoughts about his quest for the ultimate bug crunch.

▼ The things he had to put up with for a bag of bugs.

Shoving rising irritation into the deep recesses of his mind, Mr. Sato wiped away water droplets vigorously while peering into the vending machine. It was difficult making things out in the heavy rain, but at least he could identify three different price tags of 600 yen, 800 yen and 1,000 yen (US$9.10)

▼ Surprisingly, many of the products were already sold out.

Fishing out a 1,000-yen bill from his pocket, Mr. Sato eyed a bottle that was labeled as “rare food”.

“You are mine!” cried a triumphant Mr. Sato.

▼ Looking down, he found no slot in which to insert his 1,000 yen bill.

▼ “Are you kidding me?” he shook his head.

▼ He pulled out his wallet impatiently and counted out the coins.
“What a pain in the @#%&!”

Unbeknownst to Mr. Sato, there was actually a slot for notes to be inserted in, but the relentless rain had all but hid it from his anger-filled eyes.

▼ Nothing came out despite Mr. Sato stabbing the button till his finger hurt.
His mood sunk to its lowest.

▼ With all his plans dashed, our drenched reporter randomly pressed a button,
blindly grabbed the product and ran away sobbing.

▼ It wasn’t until the next day — clear and sunny no less — that he realized that the heavens were pulling a cruel joke on him.

▼ The sight of the “Super Cricket Snack”
squished into a bottle lifted Mr. Sato’s spirits, however.

For some odd reason, the entire package felt a little too heavy for its size, producing a strange clinking sound whenever he shook it. Filled with a sudden dread, Mr. Sato turned the bottle around…

▼ …and gaped at the two stainless steel bolts in there.

It took several moments before his mind started moving again, but it dawned on him that the owners of the machine must have placed them there so that products could be dispensed properly; bottles too light would have otherwise remained stuck in the vending machine.

▼ Or maybe they were tools to eat the snack with. Bolt chopsticks, perhaps?

Pushing the metal pieces aside, Mr. Sato decided it was time for his long-awaited munchies.

▼ “Hnnnnnnnnnnnngh!”

▼ The bag finally gave way after several attempts.

A quick glance at the packaging revealed the little rings to be made out of Canadian crickets and Japanese brown rice.

▼ “Maybe the bolts are supposed go through the middle?” Mr. Sato scratched his head.

The Super Cricket Snack tasted like… cereal. Cereal that would go well with milk, but that would just be too ordinary. Since he had never tried crickets before, our adventurous reporter did not really know what he should be looking out for.

▼ All he knew was that the little rings would be great for an afternoon snack.

600 yen for bug food and two stainless steel bolts was not too shabby in Mr. Sato’s books, though he wished for something a little more insect-like in appearance, just so he knew it was bugs he was eating. A bag of crunchy Rhino Beetles like those found in Kumamoto’s bug vending machine would make Mr. Sato a very happy man indeed. As long as it didn’t rain, of course.

Vending machine location
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Takadanobaba 2-19-8
Access: 24 hours
Images: ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]