Japanese Vending Machines Are Selling Bugs You Can Eat

Illustration for article titled Japanese Vending Machines Are Selling Bugs You Can Eat
Screenshot: katsumata museum
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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.

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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.

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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 Armor Tail Scorpion costing 1,500 yen ($14.10) and Zebra Tarantula reaching 2,600 yen ($24.45). You can get bug kebabs, crickets, and rhino beetles, as well as more, perhaps, palatable chocolate-covered grasshoppers.

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YouTubers have been doing tastings.

Illustration for article titled Japanese Vending Machines Are Selling Bugs You Can Eat
Screenshot: katsumata museum
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Yum!

Illustration for article titled Japanese Vending Machines Are Selling Bugs You Can Eat
Screenshot: katsumata museum
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(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.”

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This YouTuber added different condiments.

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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!

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

Arai-the fly on the wall

Why is it normal even delicious to eat shrimp while at the same time, bugs are considered revolting?