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Convenient Vending Machines in Japan that Sell Some Surprising Items

It is said that Japan has the highest density of vending machines in the world. In addition to the most common ones that sell drinks, there are those that sell ice cream and sweets, as well as others that are somewhat unique. Below are some of Japan's convenient vending machines.


1. Ramen

This is a food vending machine. You can either purchase instant ramen noodles and cook it with the hot water from the attached water dispenser, or purchase a type in a can that is ready to eat when you open it. Want to know how to eat it? No need to worry! The instant ramen comes with chopsticks in a pocket, and the canned ramen has a fork attached to the lid.

2. Ready-to-Eat Frozen Food

This is a frozen food vending machine. It comes out warmed up and ready to eat. It consists mainly of light fare, such as French fries, takoyaki (octopus dumplings), hot dogs, and grilled onigiri (rice balls). They may be served from vending machines, but the food is tasty. These vending machines are frequently found in parking areas along highways.

3. Ice Cream

Once you've had some warm food, why not get ice cream from a vending machine as dessert? The ice cream is sold throughout the year, with different items stocked depending on the season. The ice creams in the photograph are designed specifically for vending machines, so they are easy to eat while on the move. These machines are so popular that there are about 20,000 of them across the country, primarily on station platforms, and in amusement parks and shopping centers.

4. Bananas

You can even find fresh food! In Japan, you can buy bananas in vending machines. The machines are kept at 13°C, which is the perfect temperature for bananas, so you can have them whenever you want! They are popular for breakfast and as a snack when you are just a little hungry.

5. Drinks

The most common type of vending machine is for drinks. They serve drinks at a variety of temperatures – from cold to warm, including room temperature and super cold. It is amazing that one vending machine can have so many different temperature settings! There are some machines with lotteries for a free drink, as well as ones with touchscreen controls.

6. Umbrellas, Daily Necessities

Following that, here are some vending machines that sell items other than food and drinks. Can you see it? The vending machine to the far-left sells umbrellas. It is a savior when there is a sudden downpour. Next to it is a machine for daily necessities like diapers. The machines are definitely worth photographing.

7. Car Wash Goods

This is a vending machine at a car wash for tools to wash your car with. It includes washing liquid, sponges, towels, and waxes. It is helpful if you forget to take your supplies with you.

8. Disposable Cameras

This is a vending machine for disposable cameras, which anyone – from children to adults – can easily take photographs with. These vending machines, which were once common at tourist sites in Japan, started to disappear due to the prevalence of digital cameras, but are becoming popular again with a renewed interest in film photography. If you come across one of these vending machines, take the opportunity to purchase a disposable camera!

9. Batteries

This is a vending machine for batteries. It can be an issue when your battery runs out and you don't have any in stock, so these machines were handy before the age of convenience stores. Some of these machines that seem like something out of the past are still in front of local electric appliance stores, so take a look to see if you can find one.

10. Cigarettes and Alchohol

There are also vending machines for items such as cigarettes and alcohol that limit who can use them (must be 20 years old or older). To purchase cigarettes from vending machines, you need a smart card that identifies you as being 20 years of age or older, so not anyone can use them. Vending machines that sell alcoholic beverages like beer may be unavailable between 11:00 pm - 5:00 am, or require a driver's license to verify the buyer's age.

There are also disaster support vending machines that offer free drinks during disasters and emergencies, as well as ones that have AEDs. These additional functions are unique to a country that has the highest density of vending machines in the world.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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