Most people probably know that Japan has lots of vending machines (according to wikipedia there is one for every 23 Japanese people (and there are a lot of Japanese people!).
What some people might not know is the range of things you can get from a vending machine here. Not just snacks, and drinks, but rice, noodles, souvenirs, meat, plants, and magazines. My favourite machines however, dispense booze. Not just beer, but whiskey, sake, cocktails and more.
I love the Giant Sapporo jug in this one, unfortunately I was on a wine trip at the time and wouldn’t have been able to fit that in my suitcase.
The odd thing I find about these kinds of vending machines in Japan (these and the cigarette machines) are they are just left out in the street where anybody (i.e. kids/teenagers) could buy some fags and booze.
Admittedly, recently the Japanese government have introduced a Taspo card for buying cigarettes (you have to be over 21 and use one of these to buy cigarettes from a machine). Some of the machines also have age recognition cameras and software, but I read that some “smart” kid fooled this by standing on his bike, so the machine thought he was tall enough to be an adult!
Maybe it’s because I’m English that I find it odd. I’m pretty sure these machines wouldn’t last long back in the UK, they’d be emptied on the way home from school.
The other odd thing, is they turn off after 11pm – someone told me this was to stop children buying from them – surely that’s when drunken people staggering home want a top up for the road?
Anyway, seeing as I’m in Japan I thought it only fair that I have my own machine, so a few birthdays ago, my wife bought me this…