First Meal in Tokyo: Ordered by Robot (Kinda)

We took a redeye flight to Japan and landed at about 5:00 AM.

The sun was just rising over Haneda Airport. Since it was too early to check into our room, we dropped our bags off at our hotel and went wandering. Hunger quickly set in as we explored the city.

Here is Michelle putting in our order for our first meal. Since all taxes and service fees are included in prices, a lot of restaurants use vending machines to take orders. Select your order, insert your money, and out comes a ticket for your order.

This is one of the more advanced units that has a digital screen with photos of the food, which makes ordering easier for people that don’t speak or read Japanese like us. Others just had mechanical buttons with Japanese writing on them.

While the use of a vending machine may seem a bit odd, it’s pretty common in restaurants in Japan. It is not a lack of personal touch either, as there is often someone in these restaurants to greet and seat you after you’ve ordered through the machine. I wish we had more of this in America. I’d probably have my food order screwed up less often.