Here's Why Vending Machines are so Popular in Japan
May 10, 2019
Every nation has some kind of a craze, that makes other people wonder, what is so special about it. The Japanese, for instance, are obsessed with vending machines. Yup, vending machines are found almost everywhere in Japan, literally. What has made them so popular? Read to know more.
These vending machines play a major role during disasters. Many of them have a "free vend" option during emergencies. During natural disasters these have helped several victims by offering them free drinks and food. The LCD screens of the machines are also used to spread important announcements and messages.
Japanese people love vending machines. They are present everywhere, literally everywhere! So what's so special about vending machines in Japan? A lot actually!
These machines are like retailing robots, and we all know how much the Japanese love robots. There are 5,557,272 vending machines in Japan. This means there's a vending machine for every 23 people. So don't be surprised if you find one in every corner! In fact there's one on top of Mt. Fuji as well.
Why are there so many vending machines in Japan?
✱ Setup is simple It is very easy to set up these vending machines. All you need is a piece of land. The company can stock and maintain the machine for you and give you a percentage of the profits. Or you can buy drinks from the company directly. It is one of the most profitable businesses in Japan.
✱ People are always on the go Japanese are busy people, who mostly walk or travel by train. It is convenient to pick up a drink as you commute. Thus, you'll see many machines near stations.
✱ Aging Population Japan has an aging population, and not many youngsters are available to work in cafes or small shops. Thus, these machines solve that problem as well.
✱ Safe Country Japan is a very safe and secure country. There are no cases of vandalism or theft even in remote areas. Thus, even rural areas have these machines.
✱ Saves Space These also help solve the problem of space. A very small plot of land is required to install a vending machine. Plus, human space is also saved. Convenient, right?
✱ These machines are special for the products they offer. You can get any beverages, hot or cold, right from tea and coffee, to soups, soft drinks, and vitamin water. This is just the most basic machine offers.
✱ There are machines adjusting their temperature as per the season and weather forecast. You can get both hot and cold drinks in the same machine.
✱ There is a machine which converts into an animated character, and displays various messages.
✱ There is a machine which brews fresh coffee for you in a minute, and enjoy the entire process on screen.
✱ Not sure what to drink? There are machines that verify your age and gender, and suggest the drink for you as per the time, temperature, and weather.
✱ That's not all! There's a machine that entertains you with short comedy skits or jokes.
✱ In a Lottery Vending Machine, after you buy a drink, an electric roulette will decide if you can get a free drink.
✱ Initially, these machines required cash, but the new ones have started accepting electronic money as well.
✱ Feeling lonely? Your favorite vending machine will solve that problem as well. All you gotta do is register your number with the machine you frequent the most, and it will wish you or talk to you as you pass by. Yeah, get ready to be happy, as you will get some sweet messages from your dearest vending machine.
Things you can get from a vending machine in Japan
✱ Forget to wear your tie to work this morning, no problem, buy one at the vending machine on the station. Sudden rain? There's a vending machine that sells umbrellas. Hungry? Get a hot meal, choose from hot dogs, fries, noodles, or soup from the machine around the corner. You cannot even imagine all the stuff you can get from these smart boxes.
✱ Cigarettes, alcohol, gloves, costumes, toys, gifts, souvenirs, batteries, eggs, meat, veggies, fresh milk, and orange juice, and even lingerie!
✱ There are machines that sell porn as well. Things get a little weird as these machines start dispensing used underwear! (What?) Fortunately, that has been stopped in the recent years.
✱ The most important concern is the amount of electricity these machines use, as they are working all the time. But in the last few years, technology has helped bring down the electricity usage to the minimum.
✱ Another factor that most people can purchase anything. Even this has been solved as the modern ones require an identity proof to validate your age.
One thing is for sure, Japanese people have a close relationship with vending machines. This fascination is showing no signs of receding, and don't get surprised if they come up with more such interesting features. Who needs humans when you have all-purpose vending machines!