5 Ways Japan Nails The Food Service Game & I Swear I’m Moving There No One Stop Me

Japan food service

While I’m yet to travel to the future (aka Japan) personally, I have countless friends who have and they won’t shut the shit up about it.

So, considering I have a tonne of word-of-mouth to go off, plus the ability to corroborate said word of mouth with google searches, I’ve been able to successfully compile a list of reasons why Japan is, yet again, miles ahead of every other country.

This time, regarding food and bevs.

1. Vending machines

Rumour has it, you can get anything from a bottle of liquor to an actual Porsche from vending machines in Japan.

I say rumour because I 100% fabricated the Porsche tidbit just then, so don’t go spreading it around, but the availability of liquor has indeed been confirmed by numerous friends and articles.

Perhaps more importantly than booze (oh my god have I finally grown up? I took my sweet-ass time), you can get ready-made meals, cold or hot, that are supposedly pretty damn decent.

That definitely one-ups Australia’s vending machines, which exclusively stock “food” that would outlast an apocalypse.

2. A-grade convenience store food

Can’t tell you what’s happening in this GIF but I’m into it

Okay, so you know how we tend to be wary of buying sushi from our local convenience stores? Not the case whatsoever in Japan.

Found on street corners and at train stations, Japan’s convenience stores stock everything from ready-made meals to onigiri (little rice balls), and it’s meant to be to kill for. (I’ve never been fond of the saying ‘to die for’, I’m much more inclined to kill someone else for a good bite to eat rather than die for it, you know?)

It’s also supposed to be a good place to trial the local cuisine before you go all-in on a 30,000 yen banquet.

3. Primo canned drinks

It’s no shock that Japan is also better at the canned drink game than us.

What is a shock, at least to me, is that they’re willing to actually share some of their drinks with us Aussies.

No, I’m not talking about those 9% alcohol bevs you can get from Japanese corner stores and legally drink right there on the street, I’m talking about their flash brew.

You might’ve seen them in stores recently – essentially it’s coffee that’s been brewed with hot water (for the taste), and then quickly cooled (to lock in flavour) with fancypants equipment.

The result? Spectacular. Out of this world. The best coffee I’ve tasted that didn’t cost me my soul and a newborn.

You can get Suntory BOSS Coffee in Iced Long Black and Iced Latte, plus they start from 5 calories per can. Which, as far as canned drinks go, is ridonk.

4. Ticketing systems

Alright, get this: there are restaurants in Japan that have a ticketing system, so even the most popular food joints in town can be accessible to run-of-the-mill, Plain Jane tourists like yourselves.

All you have to do is order your spot prior, rock up to whatever place you have your heart set on, slam the ticket on the table and shout ‘I BOOKED IN ADVANCE YOU IDIOTS!’. (Don’t do that. Please. How disrespectful, shame on you.)

But it is particularly handy for the more famous places – like the restaurants that serve their iconic Japanese pancakes.

5. ‘No human contact’ dining

Is the ticket system still too much human interaction for you? No sweat, my introverted pet.

There are also restaurants, particularly places that serve ramen, where you don’t have to speak to a single soul to order.

Go in, order on the restaurant’s iPad, choose what you want, eat it and then sprint home to your hotel before someone attacks you with a warm smile.

The ol’ eat ‘n’ yeet.

Combine that with a canned drink from a vending machine and you don’t have to speak to a single soul.

Not heading to Japan anytime soon? Keep an eye out for Suntory BOSS Coffee vending machines in Melbourne and Sydney.

See? We have cool vending machines too.