LIJ Episode Videos

Japan’s Vending Machine Craze

One of the first thing foreigners often notice when they come to Japan is the sheer amount of vending machines there are. They’re literally everywhere. On streets, in back alleys, on mountain tops, in buildings, in the city, alone in the countryside, you can find these ubiquitous machines just about anywhere. And once you’ve lived here for a while, you get used to seeing them everywhere, but if you go anywhere else in the world and you are reminded that vending machines aren’t guaranteed to be where just everywhere.

I can’t be sure why Japan loves vending machines so much, but I can guess that it’s because of their inherent simplicity and convenience. They sure are nice. For the most part, drinks (hot and cold) are what’s most commonly found in vending machines. But I have seen flowers, meals and even clothing sold in these machines. This made me wonder, “What’s the craziest thing that Japan sells in one of these machines?” It was the question that drove this weeks’ Life in Japan episode.

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