Vending Machines
US $200

Vending Machines jidou hanbaiki

Papers – Optix, card

Framed size 640 x 450mm

Why vending machines?

Japan is the nation with the highest number of vending machines in the world. Around five and a half million of them, so more vending machines than sushi restaurants and Playstations. Everywhere you go, there is a vending machine, or two or three! Even on top of Mt Fuji!

What can you buy?

The majority of machines sell non-alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, soft drinks, juice, energy drinks.  These machines usually offer both hot and cold drinks. Then there are machines selling alcohol, cigarettes, ice creams, snacks, and hot food. Hot foods include instant noodles, hot dogs and burgers. The more unusual products include:

·       Self-freezing bottled Coca-Cola

·    Bananas and Oranges

·    Umbrellas

·    Eggs

·       Disposable cameras

·       Omikuji (the small fortune telling slips of paper sold at shrines and temples)

·       Weather forecasts

·       Selfie photos

·       Drink machines which use facial recognition software to guess your age and gender and then offer a personalized recommendation

·       Condoms

·       Flying Fish Soup- each bottle contains a grilled flying fish and some algae.

·       Sushi socks

·       Surgical masks

·       Puppies


Why so many?

·       Vending machines became popular in Japan during the country’s population boom after World War II. They offered vendors, especially beverage companies, an easy way to expand their product’s reach.

·       Japanese people are very honest and respectful, so there is very little vandalism in Japan. Hence vending machines in public places rarely get damaged or broken. The maintenance on the machines is exceptional too, so they rarely run out of stock or stop operating for that reason. Their reliability is part of their appeal.

·       Japanese people work long hours and stay out late after work. Vending machines are there 24/7 for a snack or a drink, no queues, very convenient.

·       The price of drinks in vending machines has remained quite cheap.

·       Anyone can become a vending machine owner after being approved and paying an installation fee. It’s a lucrative business.


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