Vending Forth: a look at vending machines in Japan

Vending Forth: a look at vending machines in Japan

Millions of Vending machines to choose from!

Japan is a very interesting country and known for its advancements in technology and different ways of doing things. It would be wrong, then, not to tell you about the one thing that is the coolest and most interesting subject that have blown many minds… that’s right – Japanese vending machines.

We all know about vending machines, right? At a certain alternative club in Pretoria there used to be a cigarette vending machine that liked to give you back more money in exchange that the money you inserted for a pack of cigarettes. It was like gambling, except you always won cigarettes AND money back. We all know the vending machines in hospitals that sell chocolates and juice but, minna, here is the amazing thing about Japanese vending machines – they sell a lot more assorted items, some of which might just surprise you.

Do not think these machines, known as jidouhanbaiki (jihanki for short) are just in the cities. Vending machines are even in the countryside. It is estimated that Japan is home to more than five and a half million vending machines. The vending machine ‘craze’ started in the 1960s and evolved. In fact, here is a list of things you can buy at vending machines in Japan: panties, amulets (at Buddhist temples), cup noodles, rice, fishing bait (we’re serious), flowers (as in fresh flowers), sake (or rice wine) in glass cups, manga, PC glasses for kids, pornography, sliced apples, sushi, toy cars and tanks, umbrellas, second-hand mobile phones, eggs, ice, neck-ties, vegetables, live lobsters (yes, as in lobsters), toilet paper, live rhinoceros beetles (a popular pet for Japanese children), bananas, hot meals… get the picture. It has become a staple technological culture in Japan.

To give you a better idea on just how big vending machines are in Japan, we share with you a few links to articles and videos on vending machines. Please follow the links for more.

First video shows a young lady named Sharla sharing more on vending machines:

Here is a video where vlogger ‘Only in Japan’ tells us more on vending machines;