Pornography, Beer, and Eggs
Japan is vending machine heaven. You can get pretty much anything you like from vending machines. Sometimes a row of vending machines will replace an entire store! There are vending machines that sell pornography, bread in a can, and even fresh eggs. There are reports of fetish items still for sale in Japanese vending machines, if you know where to look.
Cigarette for Adults Only
Cigarette machines are only seen in antique stores in America these days, but they are still used in japan, where the legal age to buy tobacco is twenty. New technology is being developed to keep underage smokers from using the machines. New machines require a “taspo” (tobacco passport) card, an ID issued by the Tobacco Institute of Japan. Manufacturer Fujitaka has another machine in development that uses face-recognition software to “see” how old the buyer is. The face recognition is around 90% accurate in judging a person’s age. It has yet to be approved for public use.
No, you don’t get to go for free everywhere. Some places still have coin-operated toilets. In Japan, you can use the facilities, but you’ll have to pay for the paper, at least in some public areas. But you might get lucky: Japanese businesses often hand out free samples as part of their advertising budget, since the individual packets have advertising printed on them.
Live Lobster Claw Game
This machine in Osaka is not exactly a vending machine -it’s a claw game! You pay your money and test your skills at catching a live lobster, which is also the prize. Have fun carrying it home!
Vending machines are so popular in Japan that they’ve been made into a popular toy, which in turn was the inspiration for these life size Coke Bots!