Vending machine in japan

Friday Favorites: Japan Beverage Vending Machines

Food Tech Travel

As I spend more time in Japan, I’m discovering and experiencing new things about it that make me go “wow.” One thing in particular that I wish the United States could adopt from Japan is their beverage vending machines.

Prior to visiting Japan, I’ve only heard about these machines in animes. The student would grab a fruit drink at one of the machines on his way home from school. The businessman would stop by the machine and get a hot coffee (yes, they serve hot drinks too!) on his way to the office. These drink dispensers seem integrated into everyday life in Japan, and when I came across one on my trip, it became a personal challenge for me to purchase something from it every day.

These beverage vending machines are everywhere. In cities like Tokyo and Osaka, I couldn’t go more than two blocks without running into one. I thought they were limited to cities and neighboring towns, but I was able to find them in the countryside as well. It’s pretty amazing how widespread these machines are considering how much they need to be maintained and kept stocked.

Milk tea from vending machine in Japan

I love the idea of these machines because they offer a variety of drinks on-the-go at an affordable price. Think of any standard drink you’d find at a convenience store and you should be able to find it in one of these machines. Some of the drinks I’ve come across so far are:

  • Bottled water
  • Coffee and tea
  • Soda
  • Fruit drinks
  • Milk tea
  • Beer

The dream is to have these machines on every other block across the Bay Area. I could imagine myself stopping by one at a BART station and quickly grabbing a canned hot coffee for $1.25 rather than waiting in line at Starbucks and spending $4. It would also be convenient for those late nights when stores are most likely closed and I’m craving some milk tea. Maybe I’m just a lazy guy and I admire this clever solution. Maybe I’m just interested in the idea of a convenient beverage shopping experience. Whatever it may be, I hope that America can learn from Japan and adopt it.

7 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Japan Beverage Vending Machines”

  1. I find it amusing that you’re excited by this lol they have these things everywhere, not just Japan, and not just Asia either…I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one in a 99 Ranch plaza in SoCal somewhere 🤔

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