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The Amazing World of Japanese Vending Machines

Culture

The Amazing World of Japanese Vending Machines

Thirsty? Grab a drink from any one of Japan's incredible vending machines.

Kasumi

Kasumi

Published on 09 May, 12:00

Step outside of any one of Kinki's fully air-conditioned buildings in the summer, and it hits you: the intense sun and muggy heat.

Japan's summers are notoriously hot and humid. Going for a walk around the neighbourhood at high noon will leave you drenched in sweat, begging for a drink. Luckily for everyone having to endure summer in the Land of the Rising Sun, there's probably a vending machine somewhere close by, along that walk through the neighbourhood.

Vending machines in Japan are a cultural speciality

Grabbing a drink from a vending machine is often faster than popping into a convenience store and from big cities to small towns, vending machines are found on almost every street corner.

Japanese vending machines supply different drinks from different companies. Vending machines in Japan also supply drinks at low costs. From 50 yen (0.48 USD) to 200 yen (1.92 USD), there's something for everyone for only a couple of coins.

So many delicious drinks to choose from!
So many delicious drinks to choose from!

One of the most interesting things about vending machines in Japan is how they're often adapted to their surroundings.

For example, we can see regular vending machines - blue, red, and white at the local train station, grocery store entrance, or outside your favourite game centre.

But, travel into some more famous parts of Japan - the more touristy areas - and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the kind of vending machines you can see.

Specialized vending machines in Kobe

Kobe is the largest city in Hyogo prefecture. The city has a beautiful port that lights up at night, world-class dining, and some great shopping districts and department stores.

One of Kobe's best tourist attractions is Chinatown or Nankinmachi. Located south of Motomachi station and right beside Daimaru Department Store, Nankinmachi is a major tourist attraction in Kobe.

Known throughout the city for its food and entertainment, Nankinmachi also has its own set of specialized vending machines.

Friendly panda bears offering a cool Coca-Cola in Nankinmachi, Kobe
Friendly panda bears offering a cool Coca-Cola in Nankinmachi, Kobe

While taking in all of the yummy homemade Chinese food Nankinmachi has to offer, wash it down with a cold drink from one of the neighbourhood's adorable vending machines.

Cute pandas painted on the side of the machines greet you happily and there's even a large panda lounging on top of the machine, ready to share a drink with you.

These vending machines are unique to Nankinmachi and are always a hit with thirsty tourists.

Thirsty tourists can also catch a drink in Kyoto with their own special vending machines

Painted with one of Kyoto's most prominent icons, geishas adorn some Coca-Cola vending machines throughout Kyoto City. Easily recognizable, any tourist in need of a drink can grab whatever they like from these unique vending machines.

Get a cold drink on a hot summers day from these special vending machines in Kyoto!
Get a cold drink on a hot summers day from these special vending machines in Kyoto!

Tourists can even take home a special Coke bottle, available only in Kyoto!

These bottles run for a bit more money than the average bottle of Coke, but their unique style will evoke memories for a lifetime!

A special bottle from a special vending machine in Japan!
A special bottle from a special vending machine in Japan!

Need a quick pick me up? While on your way to the nearest corner vending machine, you may be shocked to see a familiar face on the side of the machine. One of the special points of Japanese vending machines is their collaboration with cute and easily recognizable Japanese characters.

This particular vending machine has one of the most recognized Pokemon, Pikachu painted on the side! Super fun and exciting, this vending machine is sure to put a smile on anyone's face, no matter the temperature outside.

Have a cold drink with us, Pika!
Have a cold drink with us, Pika!

Vending machines in Japan come in all sorts of colours and styles and they're loaded with cold drinks to keep you cool on hot days.

From the regular vending machine you may see on your everyday walk to your local train station, to the speciality machines seen in Nankinmachi or in Kyoto, to the utterly adorable characters painted on the side of other vending machines, there's always a vending machine to dispense exactly what you need on a hot summer's day in Japan.

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Kasumi

Kasumi

Kasumi is a Canadian-born writer living in Japan.

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The Amazing World of Japanese Vending Machines

Thirsty? Grab a drink from any one of Japan's incredible vending machines.

Kasumi Kasumi · Culture · 6 months ago

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