Imagine in the hot, humid summer of Japan, you have to throw yourself into the jam packed train in Yamanote line and when you finally arrive at your station for work, all you can feel is that wet, drenched from your sweat. The first thing that comes to mind is that you need something to drink. It is a complete nightmare every single morning getting into this heavily packed train during the rush hours in Tokyo. However, once you step out of train station, there’s a hero providing all kinds of convenient cold drinks, or even warm drinks in winter and it is called the vending machine.
One of the things you might realize when arriving in Japan is the availability of vending machines in Japan wherever you look. In every station in Tokyo, you will see vending machines on the platforms. If you walk around for maybe 5 minutes, you will easily find any kind of vending machines instantly. It is no surprise when it comes to the large numbers of “magical boxes” full of goodness in Japan. In fact, Japan has the largest number of vending machines in the world.
When you think of vending machines, you usually think of the ones providing beverages or snacks, but here in this country, there are a lot more than that.
One of the facts about Japan is that we can sell alcohol in Japan, and Japanese people love beer. Therefore, there’s a vending machine selling beer legally. It is no surprise for the Japanese people but to other people from other country this might be very surprising or strange. Yes, as long as you have a little money to spare, you can just put them in, and start drinking a beer anytime of the day.
Banana vending machine
This Banana vending machine had closed already, but it existed in the heart of Shibuya. This idea changed the whole game of vending machines by providing a healthier option for the people. Most of the vending machines containing food are mostly holding junk food such as candies and chips. But this vending machines provided a whole banana, as well as some banana chips, vegetable chips and dried mangos.
But do you want to know some more entertaining fact? Right next to this machine, there was a trash bin specified for the banana peels. How cool is that?
Apple Vending Machine
There’s got to be another vending machine with other types of fruit right? Well there sure is. There’s an apple vending machine in Japan. If you’re thinking about a whole, un-cut apple, then you are wrong. The apple sold in these vending machines are cut into smaller pieces so that it is more convenient for you to eat, and put into a plastic bag neatly. Not just a plain apple, but they also sell the ones that are flavored in caramel and honey. There are many ways to eat apples nowadays I guess. It is a perfect grab and go though. It is healthy, convenient and also very fresh.
For those who are avoiding sugary food, these vending machines might be your best friend.
For all the ladies out there, here’s an exciting news- you can now buy your bras from a vending machine. Starting from August 9th, a brand “Fun Fun week” has started to sell their non-wired bras with a vending machine within their store. What is so special about this bra? Well its apparently very high in quality and very light to wear. The company’s motto is “Easy to buy and easy to wear” which really defines their business slogan. These non-wired bras had become quite popular recently and it might be worth a try for those looking for a comfortable bra. This store is located in Shibuya and Nikotama and there are 4 different sizes and the prices are between 2940 yen to 3150 yen.
It is indeed easy to buy and easy to wear?
Why there are so many types of vending machines in Japan?
These were the vending machines you can find in Japan and maybe not in other countries. Japan is very ahead in its technology compared to other countries and one might wonder why we have so many of them. Here are the answers to help you understand that mystery;
First of all, Japan is known for its safety. In other countries, is it more likely for someone to crash and destroy the machines and steal the products from them and that is one of the reasons why not that many countries want to put a vending machine in public places. But here in Japan, not that many people have that type of mindset and there are hardly any incidents where people destroy these machines.
Another reason comes from the population density of Japan. Here, especially in the capital city of Tokyo, it has a very high density where people are packed into one small place. And seeing all these people, smart businessmen saw the opportunity to provide the machine that satisfies the needs of people. And because there are many people, they had to provide more and more machines.
Well these intelligent businessmen sure did make a smart decision!
And lastly and most importantly, it is because of the climate of Japan. In Japan, summer is hot and humid and creates this environment where people are constantly thirsty. To help their needs, the vending machines are there to the rescue. Every summer, hundreds of Japanese people are sent to the hospital due to heat stroke. It is essential and important to be hydrated in the hot season in order to keep you cool and avoid from getting heatstroke. So that’s why you see so many beverage vending machines here in Japan.
These machines are convenient, and also needed for the Japanese people.
I hope this article helped you to discover some of the other vending machines we have here in Japan as well as the reasons why we have so many vending machines. It is said that the number of these machines are declining and it is true. If you look around Japan, we have so many vending machines but we also have many convenient stores as well. Also since the population is declining, people using vending machines will also decline as well.
We do not know how the vending machines will stay alive in Japanese society or in the world in general, but we definitely hope that the interesting ones will stay and even more interesting ones will come up.