If you have ever climbed to the top of a mountain and wished that there would be a vending machine available to provide some nice warm tea for you to more properly enjoy the view, then you will certainly appreciate the convenience of Japan’s vending machines.
Japan Has Vending Machines Everywhere
At the top of Japan’s highest and most famous mountain, Mt. Fuji, there are surprisingly vending machines with warm drinks at the ready. Warm soup is also a common option in Japan’s vending machines, should you feel more in the mood for it after the long hike.
Why Does Japan Have So Many Vending Machines?
Fuji is not the only place with a pleasant surprise for those who are looking for something convenient on the way. Japan reportedly has the highest amount of vending machines per person than any other nation in the world.
This is due to many factors, one being the practical non-existence of such kinds of vandalism in Japan.
Another reason is based on the fact that the population density is high in Tokyo and other metropolitan areas of Japan.
Yet another reason is that many people do not own cars and primarily travel on foot to and from train stations.
The nation’s abundant amount of convenience stores cater to some of this, but the vending machines are often even more convenient.
While a convenience store may be on or near every intersection of a major street in Tokyo, there is likely a vending machine on every small side street.
What Can You Buy From Vending Machines In Japan?
There are some amazing goods available in vending machines in Japan.
The most globally surprising are the kind that supposedly provides customers with a selection of pre-worn women’s underwear. This caused quite a controversy and such machines were supposedly banned from the public operation.
There are reports, however, that such machines are still seen “in the wild” in areas of Japan. Other interesting things available from a Japanese vending machine include alcohol, ice cream, large bags of uncooked rice, and supposedly even potted plants.
In case you need a battery for your television remote, there is a convenient vending machine for batteries too.
You may also be really surprised to see a machine at a Japanese temple, vending paper prayers that had been officially blessed. Buddhist prayer beads are also reportedly available from another such vending machine.
The most basic and common types of vending machines in Japan will provide a variety of drinks, from warm cocoa and tea to cool soda and sports drinks. Other commonly seen machines will provide popular collectibles, such as figures, from various Japanese animation titles.
The collectibles in these machines can range from 100 yen to 400 yen, or possibly even more as the quality, size, and rarity increase. The area of Tokyo known as Akihabara is one place, in particular, to find an abundance of such machines.
It seems like there is something for just about anyone available in a Japanese vending machine. During your stay in Japan, don’t be too surprised to find a vending machine becoming a more common part of your everyday shopping.