31 October, 2013

Ever-present Japanese Vending Machines

Did you know that vending machines are everywhere in Japan? 
According to the Japan Vending Machine Manufactures Association website, there are 5,582,200 vending machines in Japan, or one machine for every 23 people.
Jidouhanbaiki 「自動販売機」 is one of the longest Japanese words I know (along with 作業療法士 sagyouryouhoushi aka Occupational Therapist). I also learnt the word for World War 1 this week, it is 第一次世界大戦 daiichijiseikaidaisen, but I haven't quite got it memorised yet. However, I've moved off my main point for this point.

Vending machines seem to be everywhere. Here are a few we've seen recently:
Umbrellas. For a list of more odd things
found in vending machines in Japan
check here.
Drinks and umbrellas.
Kid-themed drinks vending machine.
I mentioned Anpanman back here,
he's a very popular character here and
his creator recently died.
A close up. These are drinks. Very cute!
At this time of year vending machines acknowledge the change of season. Machines begin to hold hot drinks as well as cold ones, yes, in the same machine! This post explains, and shows some high tech machines which have a large touch-sensitive display that changes according to who you are (sensors assess your age and sex).

I haven't tried the latter yet. Actually, we try not to use vending machines too often. Despite the variety, most of them actually hold drinks, and it is cheaper (and healthier) to take your own water with you when you're out and about, especially when there are five of us.

This webpage gives you more photos of a wide variety of vending machines in Japan.

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