I was walking along a little back street in Tama when I came across the great grand-daddy of vending machines: this little neighborhood vegetable hutch. People leave their backyard surplus in the bins and anyone can buy it by dropping ¥100 in the slot marked “Put Money In Here.” I know that there are lots of other places in the world where this kind of honor system is used so neighbors can trade what they make and grow, but finding it in the middle of a typical Tokyo suburb made me smile.
Read a novel set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!