Ever since my Software company — Extentech — was acquired by a Japanese company — Infoteria Corporation — our office staff has received a seemingly endless supply of incredible snacks, cookies, mochi, and a variety of freeze-dried “food”. Every time our Japanese colleagues visit our San Francisco office, they bring us snack foods like nothing we’ve seen before.
So I present “The Tokyo Banana” — a series exploring a corner of the wonder-world that is Japanese snack food.
But before we do it, and to truly grok the scope of things, we must go to the source — the vending machine center of the universe: Tokyo, Japan.
For a city that has elevated the food machine to an art form there is a bit of irony in the fact that Tokyo has by far the most Michelin-starred restaurants of any city in the world: an astonishing 331 total Michelin stars.
Not only are they completely awesome in the packaging arts, objectively speaking, Japan rules the world of cuisine with an iron fist.
In fact, Osaka and Kyoto Japan add another 200+ stars to the Japanese scorecard… Japan’s Michelin star total is more than France, America and all of Europe combined.
It’s not even close.
As a San Franciscan of course I’m partial to our local versions of fast food such as Lee’s Deli, Red’s Java House, etc. and while I have never been to the Lucky Penny — I have eaten many an It’s It after watching a Giants games at the stick — a cold experience indeed.
So to kick things off, I offer you a form of “launching point” — a photo of a vending machine found in the Akihabara district of Tokyo. The machine is ready and able to provide you with canned “pig stuff” along with a well-paired iced coffee drink to wash it down.
In the next article, we catch a plane back to San Francisco, USA and see what our colleagues have brought back with them on their visits to us here in America.
Until then, I leave you with an image that I look at whenever I need a good strong dose of WTF.
That pig is obviously displeased — but is it with your taste in food? That body language says to me that if I complain about his noodles then why don’t I just goto the train station next time?!