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Vending Machines

- in Japan

Quirky and Convenient Vending Machines in Japan

July 3, 2024

Vending machines in Japan are everywhere. Whether you’re in bustling Tokyo or a remote village, you’ll find these automated dispensers on street corners, in train stations, and even in the most unexpected places. With over 5 million vending machines nationwide, Japan boasts the highest density of vending machines in the world.

The Usual and the Unusual

While many vending machines offer the typical fare of beverages and snacks, there are plenty that cater to more eclectic tastes. Here are some of the most unusual items you can find:

  1. Hot Meals
    • Some vending machines provide hot meals like ramen, udon, and even freshly cooked hamburgers. Perfect for a quick, convenient, and hot meal on the go.
  2. Fresh Produce
    • In some rural areas, you can find vending machines dispensing fresh vegetables and fruits, directly sourced from local farms.
  3. Sake and Craft Beer
    • For adults looking to sample local brews, there are machines that offer a variety of sake and craft beers, complete with detailed descriptions to help you choose.
  4. Umbrellas
    • Caught in an unexpected downpour? No problem. Vending machines selling umbrellas are a common sight, especially in urban areas.
  5. Live Lobsters
    • In certain locations, you can try your luck at catching live lobsters from a claw machine, which is both an unusual and entertaining experience.
  6. Underwear and Socks
    • For those in a pinch, some machines dispense fresh underwear and socks. While it might seem odd, it’s incredibly convenient for travelers or anyone needing a quick wardrobe change.
  7. Mystery Boxes
    • Adding an element of surprise, these machines dispense mystery boxes containing random items, which can range from toys to electronics.

Tips for Using Vending Machines in Japan

  • Cash is King: Most vending machines in Japan accept only cash, so be sure to carry coins and small bills. Some newer machines do accept IC cards like Suica or PASMO.
  • Explore and Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try something new. With so many unique options, you might discover a new favourite snack or drink.
  • Check the Labels: Many vending machines have English descriptions, but if you’re unsure, look for pictograms or ask a local for help.

Japan’s vending machines are more than just a convenience; they reflect the country’s values of efficiency, innovation, and customer service. The range of products available also highlights Japan’s willingness to cater to diverse needs and tastes, making daily life a little easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Whether you’re intrigued by Japan’s vending machines or its rich cultural tapestry, Links Travel and Tours can help you experience the best of Japan. From tailored tours to insider tips, we ensure your journey is unforgettable. Contact us at to start planning your adventure today. Discover the quirks, convenience, and charm of Japan with the experts in bespoke travel experiences.

We’re here to listen to your needs so if you need to chat, then why not email us or pick up the phone, we will be happy to help.