Once hard to find in Japan, now it’s super convenient!

Japanese vending machines can sell the weirdest things, from edible bugs to even PCR tests for the pandemic world we live in.

But when we heard that Sriracha, our favorite spicy sauce, had started setting up vending machines in the country, our first reaction wasn’t that it was weird… it was that it was awesome!

Since Sriracha can be a little hard to get in Japan — you usually have to go to a specialty store or order it online — we jumped at the chance to conveniently buy a bottle, and we took off to the closest location in Aichi Prefecture’s Nagoya City.

▼ There it was, as if it were some normal Suntory or KIRIN drink vending machine.
No offense to those noble brands, but they’re just everywhere.

▼ Case in point, there were other drink machines nearby the Sriracha one.
But no time for drinks! There was Sriracha to be had.

▼ A closeup of the machine. The price was 600 yen (US$5.48) per bottle.

The top Japanese text above SRIRACHA reads: “The tastiness and spiciness won’t stop!” And below it is: “Sriracha outfitted with red armor,” which is a reference to Japanese samurai fighting with red armor in the past.

On the left side, the vertical text says: “The devil’s hot sauce.” Not so sure about that one, since most would probably describe Sriracha as more of a pleasant tingle than anything approaching devilish, but Japan does tend to have quite a lower tolerance for spicy food.

▼ Either way, it was time to get one!
We put in our yen, pressed the button…

▼ …and struggled to get the bottle out from the bottom…

▼ …but we did it! We were now the proud owners of a, uh, tube of some sort???

We’d expected just a regular bottle of Sriracha to come clunking out, but it instead came packaged in a clear tube along with a sheet of paper.

▼ Since Japan is somewhat infamous for excess wrapping, it makes sense.

▼ We were just happy to see that red bottle inside, although it’s a little smaller
than the regular size bottle you might know from other countries.

▼ There was another Sriracha vending machine just a few blocks away too, with a slightly
different design, located next to a flying-fish dashi soup stock vending machine.

▼ The intense fires at the bottom of this one were pretty cool,
but no time to stand around gawking — there was Sriracha to be tasted!

We brought it back home and opened up the tube, taking a look at the bottle itself and the sheet of paper it came with.

▼ It’s been a long time, friend. How have you been?

The sheet comes with lots of serving suggestions, everything from putting Sriracha into miso soup and salad in the upper left, to suggesting mixing it with ketchup and/or mayonnaise as a dip on the middle right.

▼ It also boasts to be “100% MADE IN USA,” and some
Game and Watch lookalike is off to the left side breathing Sriracha fire.

We quickly hopped out to the store and picked up some things that would be tasty when slathered in Sriracha to test it out.

…although to be fair, pretty much anything is tasty when it’s slathered in Sriracha.

▼ We went with a slice of tonkatsu (fried pork), a chicken wing, and a potato croquette.
It’s been so long since we’ve seen our food dressed up in red!

▼ And, of course, everything was delicious. The Sriracha tasted just like
we remembered: like a thick hot sauce with a slight sweetness to it.

If you’re in Japan and want to check out a Sriracha vending machine for yourself, you can see the list of locations here on the company’s website. Currently most of them are in central Japan, around Aichi and Gifu Prefectures.

And if you’re not nearby one, but you still have that red-sauce craving, you can always try some Sriracha chicken from the pizza restaurant Shakey’s instead.

Photos: SoraNews24
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