A town in Japan sells bear meat from a vending machine

Nick's ESL News Lessons

A printable worksheet for news-based English conversation classes.

Date: 2023/04/09

Difficulty: Intermediate B1

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Vocabulary Match

vulnerable -   - endangered
immediately -   - countryside
traps -   - right away
insects -   - snares
rural -   - emptied
drained -   - bugs


A town in Japan has started selling bear meat from a vending machine. The meat comes from Asian black bears that are caught in traps or in the mountains by hunters. The bears come into town to find food because there is not enough in the forests. This is causing more bear attacks in rural Japan.

Daishi Sato put the vending machine outside his noodle shop in Semboku in Akita Prefecture. Asian black bears are listed as vulnerable, but it is legal to eat bear in Japan. Meat from trapped bears is tastier because the blood is drained immediately.

Vending machines in Japan sell many things, including drinks, snacks, surgical masks, edible insects, and whale meat. Sato wants tourists to buy the bear meat because it is not very common. He sells seven to 10 packs of 250 grams each week for 2,200 yen each.

Last year, 75 people were hurt by bears in Japan and two were killed, including one in Akita.


  1. Why are bears coming into town in Japan?
  2. How much money does Sato get from selling 10 packs of bear meat?


A: Have you heard about the new vending machine in town?
B: Yeah, I have! It sells bear meat, right?
A: Yeah, apparently it's from the bears they catch in traps around here.
B: I don't know if I could eat bear meat.
A: Well, it's not illegal, and they say it's really tasty.
B: Hmm, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try it.


  1. Would you try bear meat from a vending machine?
  2. What other unusual things have you seen sold in vending machines?
  3. Have you ever had an encounter with a wild animal?
  4. What do you think should be done to prevent bear attacks?

Vocabulary Answers

vulnerable → endangered
immediately → right away
traps → snares
insects → bugs
rural → countryside
drained → emptied

Quiz Answers (examples)

  1. Because there is not enough food in the forests
  2. He gets 22,000 yen.

Source Material


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