Mama always said life is like a capsule of bug food.

Normally, when taking a turn of the capsule toy machine, people are filled with the hope of getting a certain item among the random selection offered. However, this time it seems our reporter K. Masami has found one that instills people with quite the opposite feeling: the dread of getting a certain item.

This particular capsule machine is tucked away in the souvenir shop at the ruins of the former imperial palace, Heijo Palace, in Nara Prefecture. It’s also run by Bugs Farm, the company that released an interesting and surprisingly tasty water bug alcoholic drink not too long ago.

Unlike other gachapon machines, this one gives no clue as to what’s inside other than “over eight types of edible insect products.” It also boasts being “environmentally friendly,” “high in protein,” and “great for punishment games.”

Masami was not very familiar with insect food, but knew it was her duty to take a spin at this capsule machine and put in her 500 yen (US$4) coin. However, after the first two tries nothing came out, and she had to ask for a refund from the store staff. It was as if the machine was trying to tell her something.

Even the capsules are completely blacked out, adding to the mystery of what’s inside. We’ve seen before that the foods produced by Bugs Farm really run the gamut, from normal-looking noodles made with flour that includes ground up crickets to whole scorpions as is. So, as Masami stared at her dark orb, she was more preoccupied with the things she didn’t want to be inside rather than anything she could have possibly wanted.

She gave the capsule a shake and it made a strange clicking rattle. This made her imagination run wild with what was bouncing around in the plastic ball. However, she figured that they wouldn’t put a whole roasted tarantula in a capsule machine…would they?

After opening the ball, she was somewhat relieved to find a normal-looking package inside. Since the label was in English, the words “Premium Crickets, Spicy BBQ flavor” didn’t immediately catch her eye.

When she opened the bag, a distinct BBQ aroma came out. It smelled pretty much like a normal bag of chips or nuts, but looked unmistakably like a bunch of crickets. These weren’t just any crickets, however. They were Premium Crickets.

Was there a cricket inspector somewhere, judging the crickets and ensuring only the premium ones ended up in this bag?

That was a mystery for another day. It was time to munch on some bugs now, but not before taking a swig of liquid courage first.

It turned out they weren’t bad at all! They really weren’t very spicy and had a very strong, tangy BBQ taste with some bitter notes that went really well with Masami’s beer. It felt a lot like eating a bag of dried shrimp, and even her cat was drawn to it.

It’s a really good product for someone getting into edible insect food for the first time. It also made her wonder whether she got one of the lucky capsules or whether there was something even better inside that machine.

The only way to be sure would have been to take several spins of the knob, but this might be the only capsule machine where it’s easy to resist the urge to spend more than one coin.

Photos © SoraNews24
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