With 1 vending machine for every 23 people, Japan has one of the highest vending machine densities in the world.
You can hardly walk 100 meters without finding a vending machine in Japan. Japan has a dense population, limited space, and a decreasing number of working age people. Vending machines have proven to be a convenient solution to the problem. Almost any good you can purchase in a store, you can find in one of Japan’s 6 million vending machines.
Here are some of the more unusual vending machines found in Japan:
1. Lobster vending machine
You can find this in Osaka. Modeled after a claw machine, for a mere 100 yen you can catch your very own fresh, live lobster.
2. Fortune vending machines
These vending machines are commonly found at temples and shrines. They are small slips of paper that presumably tell your fortune (called “omikuji” in Japan). For good luck, omikujis are traditionally tied to trees or pillars.
3. Used schoolgirl panties vending machines
Controversy surrounds the actual existence of these vending machines. It was declared illegal in 1993 to sell used schoolgirl panties in vending machines, yet many locals and travelers claim they still see them around!
4. Flower vending machines
Don’t spend enough time with your wife? Flower bouquets and potted plants are available 24/7.
5. Egg vending machines
Sometimes you just need eggs.
6. Girls phone numbers vending machines
7. Hot meals vending machines
These on-the-go vending machines sell every meal you can possibly think of. Hamburgers, hot dogs, stew, curry, spaghetti, french fries, fried octopus, and the list goes on.
8. Umbrella vending machines
Stuck out in the rain? No stores open? Japan has found a solution.
9. Lingerie vending machines
Available any time you need it.
10. Rhinoceros beetles vending machines
Rhinoceros beetles are very popular pets in Japan. Collecting them and fighting them is a favorite pastime among young Japanese boys. Check out Japanese Bug Fights!
Row of vending machines in Japan: