The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending MachinesS

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!

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Traditional Japanese seals ("hanko" or 判子).

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Amulets at a Buddhist temple

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Cheap tickets!

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Chikuwa (竹輪)

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Cup noodles...with foreigner kids

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Fishing bait

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Flowers, how lovely!

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Kit-Kats (but no exciting flavors like these)

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Local sake in glass cups

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Manga

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Rusted batteries in a very old, rusted vending machine

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

PC glasses for kids

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Pornography

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Ramen

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

More sake (plus beer)

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Sliced apples

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

I love sports games

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Sushi

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Toy cars and tanks. Yes, tanks!

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Um?

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Udon and soba noodles

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Umbrellas

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Second hand mobiles phones

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

Yakiniku (焼肉 or "grilled meat") sauce

The Wild and Wonderful World of Japanese Vending Machines

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.

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 photo: Pixospective)

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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