The Wild And Wonderful World Of Japanese Vending Machines

The Wild And Wonderful World Of Japanese Vending Machines

For decades now, Japanese vending machines have served up an array of interesting, mundane and useful things. Things like manga. Or bread in a can. Or video game piracy cartridges.

In Japan, vending machines started to appear in 1950s with drink machines, and then really began to take off in the following decades. Today, Japan has the highest per capita rate of vending machines in the world (the US, however, has a high number of machines, most of which are soda heavy), with the vast majority still being drink machines.

Over the years, it seems like people have put almost everything imaginable in vending machines, especially in the years before convenience stores really took off in the country and starting appearing on nearly every corner.

Yet, vending machines, like the country’s unmanned vegetable and fruit stands, do still serve a very useful purpose, especially in rural areas: round-the-clock retail.

Here’s a round up of some of Japan’s more unusual vending machines.

Image

Traditional Japanese seals (“hanko” or 判子).


Image

Amulets at a Buddhist temple


Image

Cheap tickets!


Image

Chikuwa (竹輪)


Image

Cup noodles… with foreigner kids


Image

Fishing bait


Image

Flowers, how lovely!


Image

Kit-Kats


Image

Local sake in glass cups


Image

Manga


Image

Rusted batteries in a very old, rusted vending machine


Image

PC glasses for kids


Image

Pornography


Image

Ramen


Image

More sake (plus beer)


Image

Sliced apples


Image

I love sports games


Image

Sushi


Image

Toy cars and tanks. Yes, tanks!


Image

Um?


Image

Udon and soba noodles


Image

Umbrellas


Image

Second-hand mobile phones


Image

Yakiniku (焼肉 or “grilled meat”) sauce


Image

Here’s a boring vending machine in an exciting place: Mt Fuji


In case you missed it, here’s a tour of vending machine hell.

変な自販機や懐かしい自販機 [まおか] はんこ [東海道の文具のブログ] 「さわやか」と書いてあるけどあまり爽やかじゃなくてむしろジャングルぽい自動販売機 [ネタフル] 個人的に笑った・心に残ったツイート [まとめ] 某所にて [ディープダンジョンかづの] 秩父宮ラグビー場ロッカールーム公開 [スポーツ] メガネとしては国内初! [もちあるいてなんぼ] 自動販売機 [美魔女] 佐々木酒造 [あいさにブログ] 漫画自動販売機 [小倉かおるのブログ~平凡なサラリーマン日記~] 西伊豆戸田温泉の自動販売機 その2 [いちさんのブログ]

Top picture: Pixospective


Culture Smash is a regular dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome — game related and beyond.

Comments

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!