Vending machines are a way of life in Japan. These handy machines are everywhere and can provide you with everything a tourist may need, from cold or hot beverages to full meals (if you are looking for such things). They are simply amazing and a must use while exploring Japan.
Japan is home to millions of vending machines. According to a 2017 Business Insider article, there are 5 million (if not more) vending machines across Japan, which is roughly 1 for every 23 people. You do not have to look far to find one whether you are in a train station, on the street, or on the floor of your hotel, you will find one that will have a lot of options, no matter what you are looking for.
Some options being normal of course and others being, well, stereotypical Japanese. Let’s start with the normal ones.
Let’s start with the normal vending machines. No matter where you are, as long as you have some Yen on you (although they are getting mobile friendly) you can find yourself a bottle of water, Coke, really bad coffee (Boss coffee doesn’t not quite live up to the name, trust me) or a favorite of many, Pocari Sweat (best sports drink in the world). These vending machines are a lifesaver when you are on the move and can provide you with a beverage, no matter what you are looking for.
Then there are the stranger types of vending machines. First, there are some that will make fully heated meals for you (if you are brave enough to try them). Mike Chen, a popular Youtuber, made sure to check some out and found hot dogs, hamburgers, and French fries out of one machine. Now, the quality is not going to be great, but these machines do exist.
Then there are the odd ones like the infamous vending machines in Akihabara for example. Chen continues his video to explore the odd vending machines that have strange assortments of random plastic toys and other random items that are just strange. You have to wonder who put that together, who put it in the machine, and then who comes by to collect the money afterwards. It’s odd, but then again, it is Akihabara, so things like this are bound to happen and actually are kind of common.
Another great Youtube channel, Sharmelon, always went to this strange spot and bought several of the odd packages out of the mysterious vending machines. They are certainly odd.
So no matter where you are in Japan, have some spare Yen ready because you will always be able to find a vending machine no matter where you are.