15 May 2012

Vending Machines in Japan

Time for another hit of Japan and all its quirky and wonderful glory...the vending machines!

Japan's vending machines are famous..or i should say infamous. A while ago they made for juicy travel gossip because apparently they had vending machines that despense used girls underwear - yes, you read right, USED! Rumor had it that school girls would sell them to make extra pocket money to buy the latest cool item. But as the story goes, the Japanese Government/Tourist Board got wind of this negative publicity and got rid of them although you do hear occasionally that they can still be spotted in less tourist-prone areas. I didnt find one. Nonetheless, Japan still has some amazing vending machines that really made me stop in my tracks.

Generally speaking, eating in public (not a restaurant/cafe) is not a common sight so, outside the vending machine in my hotel (which also sold Shisedo toiletries), i didnt see any vending machines that sold food. The majority of them were drinks and cigarettes machines. As i dont smoke, unfortunately i didnt take photos of the cigarette ones.

Hotel vending machine
The drinks machines had hot and cold drinks so you could by a cool fruit drink or hot barley tea. They were cheap (not exorbitant), colourful and ranged from a basic one where you enter the number for the item your after to...huge touch screen vending machines! Touch screen! Seriously!

Drinks vending machine

Touch screen vending machine - drinks
But by far my favourite was this one...

You could pick what kind of drink you wanted, coffee, cold drink or froazen drink.

And if you chose coffee, you could go on to choose how strong you wanted it, how much milk and sugar you wanted too.

All touch screen of course...

But the ultimate test was the taste test, and for an automated machine, the coffee was pretty good.

Ah Japan, love your technology in every day things.

Vanishing Point

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