In the Tokyo suburb of Sagamihara, there’s something of a sanctuary for vending machine enthusiasts, where you can also get your tires changed if you need to (via TimeOut). Tatsuhiro Saito is the owner of the Rat Sunrise Tire Shop, but his deepest love is Japan’s antique vending machines. He told Nippon.com that he originally launched his huge collection of vending machines, which now number over 90, simply because they were “brilliantly colorful and fun to look at”. In 2016, however, Saito expanded his business by fixing machines so his customers could grab a bite to eat while waiting for their tire change.
All of the machines in the collection date back to Japan’s Shōwa era, which lasted from 1926 to 1989, though a majority are specifically from the ’70s and ’80s (via CNN). Although the machines are in working order, many companies that originally operated them have now closed. Saito therefore has to store them himself. He told Nippon.com that a local company provides his burger machine, but he and his tire shop staff prepare noodles, toast and bento boxes themselves every day.
Notably, hot food vending machines are beginning to spread in parts of the United States. For example, in April, we reported that Philadelphia was about to get its first hamburger vending machine. Still, Saito’s homemade touch is a rarity, making this unassuming tire shop one of the most unique restaurants around.