More than a year has gone by and things in Japan do not feel so confusing. Walking into a Japanese restaurant that does not have a English menu or the more common “picture menu” is no longer a big deal … just start spurting out “grilled-fish” or “tempura” and there is a high probability of getting a good lunch.

I still remember my first time with a machine like this. It was in a park and the no-English speaking lady at the counter was a great help trying to figure things out.

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In a culture that is crazy for automation and vending machines, this is a logical next step. It is a restaurant ordering machine. You pick what you want, the meal or drink – including choices such as sake (bottom left), and out pops your chit. Walk over to the window and a few moments later, your meal is served.

I like the process because it has pictures.