Tokyo has been slightly intimidating. No, change that. Tokyo has been very intimidating.
We have been managing, but nothing seems to be easy. It has been testing all of our foreign travel skills much moreso than our previous travels to Europe or even to Thailand have (Thailand was very westernized in many ways, and EVERYTHING was in English.)
Other than picking up snacks from the 7-11, we hadn’t eaten since a small breakfast at McDonalds since this morning. It had been cold walking around outside. We didn’t bring winter coats, because it would have been stupid to carry them through Thailand on the chance that we might spend a couple days in Japan on the way home. Moral of the story, we were chilled and it was getting dark and starting to rain. We needed to find some warm, affordable food.
Having seen an appealing poster outside of a casual looking restaurant a few blocks back, we walked back and walked in.
We saw a counter surrounded by Japanese people, eating bowls of appealing looking noodles, rice and meat, so we proceeded to sit down at a table nearby. The next step was figuring out how to order. Were we supposed to go up the the counter or wait for someone to come to us?
Our first question was answered shortly thereafter, but the answer only made more questions. The young man at the counter came over and showed us to a machine which appeared to be for ordering and paying. We had seen something like this in Madrid-a system where you use a machine to order and pay for food, then bring the receipt to the counter to have your food made.
We almost lot our fight with the machine. We almost got frustrated and walked away (all of the buttons were in Japanese, this was not a restaurant intended for tourists.) Another customer came up, and we watched how he ordered. When confused, always watch what the locals are doing!
Problem solved, food ordered, machine conquered! Dinner eaten, and it was good. Our authentic experience for the day, a vending machine restaurant in Tokyo . These machine order restaurant are a great option for affordable, filling, quick food in Tokyo.