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Tokyo: What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in a vending machine?

by Mark Buckton

Geneviève Lemire
Physician, 34 (Quebecois)
Japan is definitively the host of the most impressive vending machines. It is amazing what you can find! From everything I have seen, I would pick uncooked eggs as the most bizarre choice for a vending machine.

Shingo Fukuda
Physician, 37 (Japanese)
I’m pretty used to weird machines, but one thing that always gets me is that even with all our advanced tech, sometimes when I push one thing I get something completely different! Last week I wanted Coke but got tea.

Eddie Landsberg
Jazz izakaya owner, 42 (American)
One vending machine near my shop in Nishi-Nippori is actually a book store of sorts, believe it or not. And as odd as that may be, in Japan I wouldn’t be surprised if they had gerbils in vending machines!

Madhura Naidu
Doctor, 28 (Singaporean)
Personally, I had never seen vending machines selling hot drinks in cans or bottles before this trip to Japan, and that is unusual enough, but seeing a can of hot corn soup in a machine perhaps trumps everything else.

Gilles Bouchard
Accountant, 32 (Quebecois)
The craziest machines definitely are in Tokyo, and the one that surprised me the most was one with hot coffee, with or without milkshake, and with or without sugar! In Quebec we can barely find a cold bottle of water!

Toshinobu Kubota
Accountant, 43 (Japanese)
Being so used to what others see as “odd” coming out of these machines makes this a very difficult question, but I think melon — seen recently — and oden (stewed veg and fish cakes) are out there. I mean, oden is oden!

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

  • LeslieInNorth

    lol@ quebecois
    so where are those other people you interviewed from? Tokyoite?Hokaidojin?