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 illicit substances. 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 U.S., 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.
If you are wondering where the panty vending machine is, forget the panty vending machine!
Traditional Japanese seals ("hanko" or 判子).
Amulets at a Buddhist temple
Cup noodles...with foreigner kids
Flowers, how lovely!
Kit-Kats (but no exciting flavors like these)
Local sake in glass cups
Rusted batteries in a very old, rusted vending machine
PC glasses for kids
More sake (plus beer)
I love sports games
Toy cars and tanks. Yes, tanks!
Udon and soba noodles
Second hand mobiles phones
Yakiniku (焼肉 or "grilled meat") sauce
Here's a boring vending machine in an exciting place: Mt. Fuji
And in case you missed it, here's a tour of vending machine hell.
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 photo: Pixospective)
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