Spooky Vending Machine Corner in Akihabara

Tall white vending machine with four options at Akihabara vending machine corner
Arriving at the Akihabara vending machine corner, you are greeted first by a vending machine with Mitsuya Cider and soft-shelled turtle drinks.

Fascinating Tokyo Landmarks

Visiting Japan, you may get the chance to visit several notable landmarks: Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Skytree, Asakusa. But now, you’ll need to put at least one more spot on your list: the strange Akihabara vending machine corner in Tokyo.

I’d seen rumors of this fabled place online. While the corner doesn’t seem to have a name, it is relatively easy to find. About a five minute walk from Akihabara Station, you’ll find this strange vending machine corner tucked away on a quieter block.

Before you get the wrong impression, the contents of the vending machines are not the oddest part. In fact, most of the items are normal. Even the stranger items are fairly tame.

Popcorn vending machine with image of popcorn on front
Interested in some popcorn? (Apparently three flavors are available)

No, the biggest draw is the atmosphere, the odd mix of items, the signs. In particular: the signs.

I would not go to this vending machine corner at night. Instead, I arrived sometime soon after dawn. Actually, even though the darkness was not an issue, the lack of people was unnerving.

The quietness adds to the eeriness of the signs. You can see even more photos of the signs and corner itself at Another Tokyo and BQ to get a feel for the atmosphere. The website ReTrip has a great collection of the text of the signs, which range from humorous to “guy on the street corner hearkening the end of the world.”

The Signs

Large yellow handwritten warning sign with red text in Japanese.
The infamous “Warning: This is not a toilet…” sign. I didn’t realize that was what it said before, unfortunately, I was standing right in front of it.

A few samples of the signs at the Akihabara vending machine corner, translated into English:

  • Everyday, everyday, earthquakes. Have you prepared your canned food, emergency rations?
  • Room-temperature drinks (presumably a joke based on the fact that some vending machines have hot and cold drinks)
  • We live in a warring period. To the front lines, to victory. In pursuit with Pote-Long snacks!
  • There is a reason we’ve continued to drink Mitsui Cider for 135 years. Ask Sachiko. Sachiko was scary. (Nobody seems to know who Sachiko is…)
  • With konpeito (on KitKat vending machine)
  • Warning: This is a not a toilet. If you urinate or defecate here, man or woman, I will photograph and videotape your face and nether regions and put it on the internet forever. (In the farmost corner of the vending machine area)
  • Water bottles for sale inside, to prevent sickness
  • I’ll cut off all 20 of your fingers and toes. (in relation to anyone who graffitis, etc… a little extreme)
  • Confetti/Konpeito-Bomb Baan, At T. Trading Corp, Manager S. is overbearing toward his subordinates and flattering toward his boss — a genius. He is taken by the mama-san at a nearby cafe and always goes to eat napolitan spaghetti there. So his subordinates call him Manager Napolitan. The end. (written on a mysterious package in a machine) 
  • Fire warning: If you smoke or dispose of cigarettes in this area, a 5,250 yen penalty will be collected. (very specific)
  • There were quite a few more that didn’t seem appropriate to post. There were even more that I could not understand the meaning enough to translate.

Inside the Vending Machines

Although the signs are the main attraction, I lied when I said the Akihabara vending machine contents weren’t a little odd. While, in fact, much of the products seem normal, some strange ones are certainly mixed in.

Wide white vending machine with three rows of extremely varied products
A vending machine with a large variety: chips, Soy Joy bars, toy beetles, rechargeable batteries, cookies, model shinkansen and more!

For example:

  • A vending machine with lots of toy bullet trains
  • Toy kabuto mushi (rhinoceros beetles) mixed in with other more conventional products
  • Konpeito included in packages with other more conventional prodcuts
  • Scented candles
  • Popcorn vending machine (not so strange, but not common)
  • Himalayan salt
  • Suppon (soft-shelled turtle) drink
  • Wind chime
  • Canned bread
  • Yoyos
  • Mystery packages with short stories written on the outside

At Another Tokyo, the writer bought one of the mystery packages and found cookies and kaki-pis (slightly spicy snacks that go with beer).

Top row of toy beetles in vending machine, bottom row of mostly chips in cans
Close-up of the rhinoceros beetle toys in the vending machine

I was only brave enough to get a regular bottled water.

Have you been brave enough to visit Akihabara’s most unique vending machine corner?

Purchase Japanese Snacks

For those of you who can’t visit the Akihabara vending machine corner in person, here are a few of the Japanese snacks sold in the vending machines that you can purchase online instead!

The below products are Amazon Affiliate links. This means I receive a portion of sales from those links. However, don’t worry — it does not affect the price you pay for the product.

Akihabara Vending Machine Corner Details

Address: Near Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Suda-cho 2-19-7

Hours: Open 24 hours (probably)

15 thoughts on “Spooky Vending Machine Corner in Akihabara

  1. Tegan says:

    We discovered this at night as it was just up from our hotel in Kanda. Scary at first but worth a look at all the strange items!

    Reply
    1. L. says:

      Spooky! I would be quite scared if I stumbled upon it at night. Particularly since it is in a relatively quiet area.

      Reply
  2. Dez says:

    Sachiko-san is a character from a horror game called Corpse Party. You summon her using a charm. Could this be the Sachiko mentioned?

    Reply
  3. Joseph says:

    I walked passed here today after seeing it last Christmas, and to my disappointment it has now been demolished.

    Reply
    1. L. says:

      Oh no! I’m sorry to hear it.

      Thank you for the heads up!

      Reply
      1. Yusuf says:

        This isn’t true! I went there yesterday, nearly didn’t after reading that comment but decided to anyway and it’s still there…

        Reply
        1. L. says:

          Thank you for letting us know! I’ll add an editor’s note to the comment.

          Reply
          1. Chan says:

            Confirmed still here. Coordinates to make it a bit easier: 35.6966839, 139.7714198

          2. L. says:

            Thank you for the coordinates! I’m glad to hear it is still there!

  4. Bec says:

    I was wondering around akiba station tonight, after dark, a lone female, looking for a not so busy place to get some chirashi sushi, and I stumble into this damn place! It felt a little unsafe but I was compelled to check it out. I urge you to visit at night; eeriest experience of my life; very fascinating. I wish i’d had longer to look, but it’s a perfect place to get attacked by some creep so I didn’t hang around. Thank for the sign translations, makes it even weirder. I bet it’s some kind of art installation. Very cool.

    Reply
    1. L. says:

      I think I will have to just take your word on it’s atmosphere at night. 😉

      It’s spooky enough during the day!

      Did you get anything?

      Reply
    2. Tezcatlipoca says:

      Hi! So I was going through my photos from my trip to Tokyo in August 2018 and thought I look up the strange vending machine corner on Google. Ran into your blog, and this comment.

      One late night, when everything was closing down in Akiba, I decided to walk back to my hostel (Iwamotocho/Akiba). I ran into the vending machines after seeing a strange, blue light. I FELT THE SAME WAY TOO. I walked inside the corners, filmed, took photos with that feeling that I’m being watched or someone knows I’m here. But it felt like I stepped into those hidden rooms in video games…it was an awesome experience. I was there at 12AM by myself!

      Reply
  5. Rohan Gillett says:

    Very nice article! The warnings on the Akihabara machine were a little ridiculous though lol. Actually the strangest vending machine was one I found about 10 years ago between Nakano-sakaue and Shinjuku and it was selling high school girl’s used underwear. It was very bizarre.

    Reply
    1. L. says:

      Can’t say I’ve seen that one. It does indeed seem bizarre!

      Reply

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