When foreigners come to Japan, they are surprised at the number of vending machines.
They will be surprised at how easily they can find vending machines in their daily lives.
In Japan, vending machines are available anytime, anywhere, and whenever you want.
There is no need to look around for a store just because you are thirsty.
You can find a vending machine in no time.
Isn’t that convenient?
In this article, I would like to introduce the convenient and useful vending machines in Japan.
Convenience of vending machines
Vending machines have become an important part of Japanese life.
They are so familiar to us that we don’t even realize how much we appreciate them when we live in Japan.
Once you try using a vending machine, you will fall in love with its convenience.
Easy to find vending machines
Vending machines can be found throughout the city, on the streets, inside buildings, and beside the entrances to convenience stores.
Even in rural towns without stores, vending machines can always be found.
They can be found not only in downtown areas, such as in front of train stations but also in residential areas, allowing people to purchase drinks whenever they need them.
Lots of different kinds of drinks
Water, tea, juice, sports drinks, and coffee are the most common drinks sold in vending machines.
Some machines have an assortment of corn soup, oshiruko (Japanese sweet red bean soup), and amazake (sweet sake), which is a good drink to have when it is cold.
Most vending machines are managed by beverage manufacturers.
So the types of drinks sold and their prices vary by a vending machine.
Sometimes rare drinks that are not sold in convenience stores or supermarkets are sold.
Finding your favorite beverage is part of the fun too.
You can choose between cold and hot drinks
What makes Japanese vending machines excellent is that cold drinks are properly refrigerated.
If you are thirsty on a hot summer day, you can get a cold drink as expected.
On a cold winter day, you might want a hot drink.
Hot beverages such as tea, coffee, and soup are available too.
The availability of cold and hot beverages from a single vending machine is a wonderful example of Japanese technology.
Accepts cash as well as electronic money
Cashless vending machines are spreading in urban areas.
Although it varies from vending machine to vending machine, an increasing number of machines accept transportation-related electronic money such as Suica, and distribution-related electronic money such as Nanaco, WAON, and Rakuten Edy.
At Narita and Haneda airports, there are vending machines that accept credit cards.
It is possible that your first purchase upon arrival in Japan was a drink from a vending machine.
Please note that some vending machines in rural areas only accept cash!
Items sold in vending machines
Beverages are not the only things sold in Japanese vending machines.
There are many different types of vending machines. They range from the most common to the most unique.
Some local stores have vending machines that sell unique local delicacies, so if you see one, why not give it a try?
- Ice cream
- Breads, pastries
- Frozen dumplings
- Local gourmet
- Fresh flowers
Let’s talk about vending machines and drinks at Ohanashi Kagawa!