If you walk around in Japan, you get sometimes really thirsty in this moisture ground. However if you walk around a town in Japan, you will notice that there are vending machines everywhere. In Japan, vending machines started to appear in 1950s with drink machines, and then really began to take off in the following decades. Today, Japan has the highest per capita rate of vending machines in the world, with the vast majority still being drink machines.
Over the years, it seems like people have put almost everything imaginable in vending machines, especially in the years before convenience stores really took off in the country and starting appearing on nearly every corner. That isn’t surprising considering that there are about 5.5 million vending machines in Japan, giving them the highest prominence rate in the world when calculating the population ratio. Of those, the number of machines specializing in beverage sales is about 2.56 million and one feature of these Japanese machines is that they don’t only sell cold drinks, but also hot drinks as well in one machine. You will also often see machines that have a selection of over 20 different products ranging from juice, coffee, tea, water, and hot soup all in one machine. The products they sell in addition to beverages are “limitless” with items such as ice cream, newspapers, paperback books, shrine charms, sweets and bread, fruit, vegetables, etc.
Now there is even new type of vending machine, which is called virtual vending machine so to say, which with the sophisticated design of new machines, the feeling of operating the touch display is as if you are operating a giant smart phone.
Products in the vending machine that have been sold out will be removed from its line-up. In some cases, after purchasing a product, the machines will display a slot machine that makes buyers happy with campaigns where winners can receive another drink free, or will display information like temperature and weather information on the screen, making them helpful to people passing by. Speaking of helpful functions, recently in Japan, the number of vending machines with functions to provide beverages for free as disaster relief in the event of a big disaster is also increasing. In fact, during the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, over 100 thousand drinks were provided to the disaster stricken areas. It’s actually not only convenient, also helpful for our safety life! Interesting? Please check it out!