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Vending Machines

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Vending Machines

When traveling in Japan, you may be surprised by the large number of vending machines. This is no small wonder, considering that there are currently about 5.52 million vending machines nationwide. The penetration rate in ratio to Japan's total land area is top in the world. Annual sales from vending machines reach almost 6.95 trillion yen.
The first vending machine in Japan sold cigarettes, and was introduced in 1888. Since then, a wide variety of vending machines have been developed to sell products such as drinks, food, stamps, magazines, and daily sundries. The machines are becoming increasingly high tech; in addition to being equipped with a mechanism to recognize different yen notes, both coins and bills can be used.
One factor in the spread of vending machines is Japan's relatively low crime rate; even if the machines are left outside, they are seldom broken or stolen.

A flower vending machine. Fresh bouquets of flowers can be bought. A variety of flowers are offered.

An unusual oden vending machine found in Akihabara, etc. A number of food items come with broth in an "oden can."