16 May 2021

RANDOM Times •

To survive, you must tell stories…(“,)

Tateishi Burger Vending Machine: a charming, homemade vending machine that dispenses burgers at this hole-in-the-wall bakery

2 min read

There are vending machines for books, jeans, salmon, pecan pies, a vending machine to support mourners during funerals, so it’s only natural that vending machine burgers would pop up somewhere.
And that somewhere is Japan.
Since it first opened in 2000, Tateishi Burger has been a favorite of those who enjoy oddities, which are known in Japan as “B-spots.” Located in a Tokyo’s quiet neighborhood, its raggedy façade may not lure in a lot of passersby, but it never ceases to attract “B-spot enthusiasts” from around the country.
It’s about a five-minute walk from Horikirishōbuen Station but, despite its name, the store is not quite near Tateishi Station.

Founded by Toshiharu Hamano, Tateishi Burger is an old-fashioned, eat-in bakery with a small variety of low-priced burgers and sandwiches.
But what makes it really stand out is its whimsical, almost-inventive means of selling its products: Built into the shop’s exterior is a handmade literally “burger vending machine,” from which visitors can easily buy burgers, pizza, and sandwiches during the shop’s opening hours.

Initially, the vending machine was not mechanized but operated by Mr. Hamano, who would serve a burger every time someone inserted a coin into it, but the current model has been upgraded so that the buttons activate a flap to open and drop the sold burger.
Inside, visitors may notice an array of unusual merchandise displayed on the wall, including tattoo stickers, magnets, and handkerchiefs, none of them remotely related to burgers.
In 2016, despite its internet popularity, Tateishi Burger discontinued its burgers and became Mochi Pizza, selling a sort of rice cakes topped with cheese, tomato, and bacon.
But it wasn’t long before the signature burger returned and the store reverted to its original name.
A new sign hasn’t been put up since Tateishi Burger’s return, which caused the rumor of its closing to circulate, but the offbeat little shop still stands with a renewed vending machine, and it keeps evolving in an unexpected way as long as Mr. Hamano’s inventive spirit lives on.

Images from web – Google Research