|Image source: ANN News|
A roadside stop filled with nothing but vending machines is not exactly the kind of places people go out of their way to visit. In fact, most people only stop at these places when they’re on a long distance trip, pressed for time, and they don’t have any other options. However, a roadside stop located in Saitama Prefecture, is changing all this by using a bit of novelty and a whole lot of nostalgia.
Located along National Route 17 in the city of Gyoda in Saitama, Tekken Taro is a roadside eatery filled with vending machines that has become known as the “Holy Land” of retro vending machines. Visitors to this interesting rrest stop can expect to find a couple dozen vending machines and a decor that are straight from the late Showa period (1960s-1980s).
Image source: ANN News
These vending machines don’t just sell snacks, candy and drinks though. They sell quite a variety of food, including different types of hot noodles, toast, sandwiches and hamburgers. And according to visitors who remember these vending machines from their childhood, the food at Tekken Taro even tastes the way it did when they were kids.
The nostalgia factor of Tekken Taro seems to be what is drawing a large number of people to eat at this roadside rest stop. A large amount of people visiting Tekken Taro are in their 40s and 50s and hoping to take a trip down memory lane by eating some of these Showa era foods. One man, expressing how he felt after eating Tekken Taro’s tenpura udon said “I ate the tenpura udon and the taste really took me back. I will never forget this flavor for as long as I live.”
The owner of Tekken Taro, who is also the person that restocks the machines, says that there are times when she can’t keep up with demand. She’ll restock a machine and not long after it’ll be sold out again.
|“I have to rush home and watch after my grandchild.”
Image source: ANN News
However, it isn’t just people that live in Saitama that are flocking to this vending machine time capsule. Tekken Taro has become so popular that there are even people that drive hours specifically so they can have some of their favorite childhood foods. One man, seen in the video below, says that he travaled all the way from Shizuoka Prefecture, which is roughly a four hour drive. Another man, seen in the picture above, says he traveled an hour and a half on a motorcycle just to visit Tekken Taro. And he did it despite only having 30 minutes to eat before having to rush home to take care of his grandchild.
Aside from the vending machines Tekken Taro also has some retro arcade games so you can have a bit of fun after your meal.
Check out the ANN News report on this retro eatery below if you’d like to see some footage of the vending machines and the food.
Tekken Taro is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, due to
its popularity there’s no guarantee that every machine will be fully
stocked, so just keep that in mind if you stop by.
Below you’ll find the address to
Tekken Taro, just in case you happen to be in he area and would like to
take a short trip to Japan’s Showa period for a quick bite to eat.
Tekken Taro (鉄剣タロー)
Shimooshi, Gyoda, Saitama Prefecture 361-0037, Japan