Japan is obsessed with vending machines having the highest per capita rate of these autonomous pantries in the world. From drinks to… well, some very odd items. You can get it all in a Japanese vending machine.
1. Smart Car
Ever find yourself in Japan, having just left your apartment and realising you’ve forgotten your car? Luckily as always Japan has a vending machine for everything. Okay, this vending machine is more of a publicity stunt and a homage to Japan’s vending machine culture. If you do try and buy one, the machine issues you with a tube full of pamphlets.
2. Self-Freezing Coca-Cola
In Japan they have Arctic Coke vending machines, where your bottle of coke appears to be at a normal cool temperature, but when you open it and give it a shake, it magically turns into a slushy! It took them 8 years to perfect this ‘freeze on demand’ magic trick.
In downtown Roppongi, Tokyo, after grabbing a quick self-freezing coke, you can casually buy a couple of puppies, too. The sale of these adorable companions has been banned in petshops across most of the U.S. and the U.K. so seeing them in a vending machine, is now even more shocking…
4. Girls’ Phone Numbers
Sure this might sound attractive for a second, to all of Japan’s timid shut-ins, too shy to ask a girl for her number in person. But these numbers are most likely Chat-Line numbers; you know, the kind you might find inside a phone box with extortionately high rates… Imagine PAYING to get that number!
5. Flying Fish Soup
Some people grab an energy drink to power through their commute to work. Others grab a bottle of warm fish soup… Despite looking like some prehistoric energy drink, with a whole flying fish in there, it’s actually intended as a broth to take home and pep-up your rice or noodles.
6. Used Girls’ Panties
Okay, you’ve probably heard of this one before. These aren’t just girls’ pants. Which is waaay more understandable. You’re in a skirt, you’ve sat on something wet, you need some fresh underwear. Sure. But no, these are already used, panties. The target consumer here is usually male and has a much more seedy use in mind…
7. Fast Food
Being in a hectic city like Tokyo, the chances are you’re in a hurry too. So if getting your lunch from a fast food restaurant just isn’t fast enough, you’re in luck!
In just 1.5 minutes this machine in Akihabara can present you with an alright tasting hot beefburger at any time of the day or night!
Okay, this one doesn’t sound too crazy. Lettuce. Yeh what? I can buy lettuce in any supermarket? But this $90,000 vending machine actually grows the lettuces right inside itself! It’s capable of growing 60 lettuce heads a day thanks to its non-stop powerful fluorescent lights.
9. Live Lobster
You might have seen a lobster tank in fancy restaurants where you can choose what lobster you’re gonna eat? Sure. But the enterprising Japanese business mind thought; what if we didn’t have to pay someone to pull the lobster out of the tank? What if we didn’t have to pay the chef? What if we didn’t have to even have a restaurant? And best of all; what if the buyer only has a slim chance of bagging one of the lobsters? And so the live lobster claw machine was born.
10. Mystery Box
Another clever idea is the mystery-box vending machine. A load of boxes full of hidden treasures… Anything could be in them right? What if you got an expensive ornament that was worth millions!? The likelihood however, is that it’s just a wrapped up snack that would usually cost less than a dollar, and you just paid five…
Which one of these crazy machines surprised you the most?