Bizarre Vending Machines in Japan - the Ayes and the Nays

Bizarre Vending Machines in Japan – the Ayes and the Nays

Look at these bizarre vending machines found in Japan! Most of them are cool but the last three... They make me cringe.

Welcome to the kingdom of vending machines, aka Japan! The ubiquitous presence of these tall, sturdy machines is one of the most fascinating things about this country. Whether in the busy city of Tokyo or in the remote countryside, vending machines find their way to meet Japanese’s demand for convenience and instant gratification.

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In fact, there are vending machines that dispense bottled drinks right at the summit of Mount Fuji!

Image credits: Karl Baron

But the surprise doesn’t stop here. It is not the sheer quantity and spread, but the unbelievable contents of these magic boxes that truly blow our minds away. And sometimes, we can’t help but to wish that Singapore carries these amazing machines too – life would be made so much easier with these!

1. Drinks vending machine

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Vending machines selling drinks are installed across Singapore but we’re eyeing Japan’s vending machines for the wonderful array of items they supply. They serve not only your average cold beverages, but also:

Hot drinks for chilly days,

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Corn soup and red bean soup,

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And Sprite – with a blast of cold water in your face.

Image credits: Coca-Cola Company Japan

This brilliant vending machine standing 6 metres tall made one-off appearances at various locations in Japan summer last year, and was a huge marketing success for the Coca-Cola Company. Watch the video below to get a better idea of this towering Sprite-dispensing vending machine that got the nation talking!

Someone bring this genius machine to our scorching hot tropical island already!

Vending machines in Japan are going all touchscreen and looking stylish. Not just that, they can also tell you the local temperature and weather. What’s more – they can even give you drink recommendations based on data such as your gender and age, which are collected through smart sensors embedded in the vending machines! Some also have virtual staff who greet you upon approaching the machines. Talk about impeccable service!

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Image credits: Simon Helle Nielson

2. Ice-cream vending machine

Ice-cream vending machines in Japan:

Ice-cream vending machine in Singapore:

Hooray! Singapore wins this (only) round! We’ll see our happiness index go higher if we have more of that cool vending machine spotted at Singapore Polytechnic around.

3. Fruits vending machine

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Vending machines are not always about sugary, calories-loaded goodness.

4. Ice vending machine (mineral ice, no less)

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Too bad the ice bucket challenge fad is cooling down now…

5. Canned bread, canned ramen, canned yakitori, canned everything vending machines

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Because Japan can.

6. Bottled crepe vending machine

Image credits: Karl Baron

Sick of cans? These mini crepes are sold in glass bottles for a change.

7. Rice vending machine

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You get to choose from eight different types of quality short grain white rice. This is even better than the supermarket!

8. Fresh eggs and other farm produce vending machines

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Maximum freshness is guaranteed at these vending machines which offer eggs and farm produce newly gathered by neighbouring farmers!

9. Magazines, newspapers, reference books vending machines

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Mainichi Shinbun even owns a vending machine that prints the newspaper that was published on the date you were born:

Image credits: John Sloan

10. Cigarette vending machine

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Some of these machines in Japan sell lighters too. Japan’s service never fails to impress!

11. Umbrella vending machine

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Days where you have to wait for the rain to subside under the void deck and at the bus stop, be gone!

12. Spectacles vending machine

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Japanese company J!NS started selling eyeglasses designed to protect your eyes when looking at electronic screens, such as computers and tablets, in their exclusive vending machines. Now, they offer shades suitable for sports and the outdoors in them too!

13. Batteries vending machine

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You’ll never know when you need to replace the batteries in your wall clock.

14. Flower arrangement vending machine

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Scored a second date but running late for your appointment? Guys, this flower bouquet vending machine might just be your life-saver. Insincere, but something is better than nothing… right?

15. Business cards vending machine

It’s one of those things which seem redundant to have, but there will come a time when you urgently need it.

16. Necktie vending machine

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Just in case you forgot yours this morning.

17. Disposable camera vending machine

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This is not just for the self-declared hipsters. The ease of use and light weight of disposable cameras which run on film make them suitable for all ages!

18. DVD rental vending machine

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Japan makes entertainment so easy. A few coins, trust and integrity are enough to make this vending machine work!

And then there’re some vending machines that we probably don’t want on our shores…

19. Underwear vending machine

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Image credits: Kim Unertl

I can’t imagine any occasion that would warrant a change of panty… Can you? Japan surely prepares you for the worst!

20. Used ladies underwear vending machine

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Disturbed? This is NOT an urban legend. Given Japan’s reputation as a horny, sexually explicit country with peculiar fetishes, this is perhaps not all that surprising. Most of these used panties sold in capsule vending machines allegedly belonged to high school girls. These machines are actually banned yet you still see them around.

21. Porn magazine vending machine (NSFW)

Image credits: Greg Petrovic

Why, of course.

Have you been to Japan and seen other one-of-a-kind vending machines that you think should be featured? Let us know and we’ll update the list with them! Which one of these vending machines would you most like to see in your country? We’d love to hear from you!

About Author

Lee Shu Shien

Shu Shien is a nature lover who would trek far and wide in search of the most breathtaking sunflower fields, river gorges, caves and beaches Mother Earth has to offer. With her trusty Minolta and preference for printout maps over Google Maps, she travels for chance encounters and to seek the Great Perhaps.