Sorry for the lack of updates. This term has been seriously kicking my butt. Didn’t help that I got off on a very rough start either ^^;. Like failing my first exam because I didn’t know there was one XD. Anyway, this post should’ve probably been written a long time ago as it’s one of the first thing I noticed my first day here: Japan is the vending machine capital in the world.
Just so you know, I didn’t go out of my way to take any of the photos in this post. These are the vending machines I pass by on my daily commute to school. I probably walk past at least 60 different vending machines on my way to school. There is at least three vending machines on EVERY block in Japan.
When I saw the first vending machine, I was like “hey cool! a vending machine out on the streets!”, then “oh look! another one… or four!”, then “wow! even more!”, then “… why are there so many vending machines?”. Vending machines are everywhere here. As in… for every vending machine you see, there are probably 6-10 more in the immediate area. Around the corner, down the block, behind the building… they’re there. In the city, in the neighborhoods, in the country side, on top of a holy mountain… there are vending machines. The vast amount of vending machines really merits a big “wtf? seriously? o_O” at first but the funniest part (to a foreigner) is that most Japanese people think this is the norm.
The drinks varies from each machine so you have a quite a decent selection to choose from. Some are also more expensive than others. Some even sells alcohol!
With all these varieties and types of drinks, there is almost no food/snack vending machines to go with them ^^;. My Japanese friend is willing to bet there are more vending machines in Tokyo alone than the US in its entirety. I can agree with that…
A vending machine that sells acne care product… inside a train station.
I’ve shown this photo before but in case you missed it the first time… Touch screen vending machine in Tokyo.
Some of the vending machines on campus. There are actually a few vending machine in almost every building. Curiously, there are no vending machines inside the CIE building where all the international students are ^^;.
All cigarettes. Here’s a sad truth: Japan’s biggest Tobacco company, Japan Tobacco, is owned by the Government of Japan. As such, there is a large financial interest over the health of the people. In many restaurants, people are allowed to smoke. There’s really nothing being done to effectively curb smoking, and there are plenty of ads selling the “wonderful” flavor of the cigarettes. And Japanese people love to smoke too; Those who do smoke… SMOKE A LOT. Both boys and girls. I have been out to eat with many smokers before and they just sit there puffing away like there’s no tomorrow while waiting for food and in between orders. They’ll be smoking while waiting for everyone to show up, smoking throughout the meal, smoke some more after the meal, then smoke again wherever we decided to go next. They probably go through a pack or two a night. I come home and my clothes will reek of smoke. It really sucks (no pun intended).
When it starts to get chilly, just about every vending machine will be stocking up on various warm drinks too like soup, coffee and hot tea!
Vending machines are very convenient here. If you walk around looking for a drink and can’t find one you like after the 8th machine, you will probably reach a convenience store by that point and if they don’t have what you want then there is always a supermarket close by. It’s amazing! My host dad did brought up a good point though… All these vending machines together does consume a huge amount of electricity to keep them running 24/7 and that’s just wasteful.
If you want to see more vending machines, this person has got it covered here.