Japan is the undisputed home of the vending machine. They can be found in huge racks in train stations and on street corners all over the country providing everything from hot ramen noodles to fresh eggs.
Here are some of the most interesting foods you can find in the vending machines from the land of the rising sun.
1. Instant Frozen Coke
Frozen slushies are one thing, but what about a coke that transforms into a frozen drink in front of your eyes?
This amazing vending machine from Japan deposits an ordinary cola into your hand which then turns into a slushie once you turn it upside down. Genius.
2. Energy Drinks
The work hours in Japan are notoriously long, so it makes sense to have a energy drink vending machine near the work place. And the machines are almost always placed side by side with a condom vending machine. We all want to have a good time, you just sometimes need a little pick-me-up to do so.
3. Sake shots
The famous Japanese wine, made from rice is available in vending machines at Niigata Station. Sake is usually served with food but if you need a quick shot of liquor, this is the vending machine for you.
The machine offers a range of sakes to try ranging in alcohol strength.
4. Fresh Fruits
In a country where everyone seems to be busy, it makes sense that there are vending machines dedicated to basic groceries. Especially ones that will keep you healthy.
If you need the satisfying crunch of an apple, look for the fruit vending machine at your local train station. There is a banana version of the machine too if that is more to your preference.
5. Flying Fish Soup
Each bottle of this soup contains one grilled mackerel in some delicious dashi stock. Apparently, the contents of this odd-looking bottle are the basis of a delicious meal.
Dashi stock is used widely in Japanese cooking, it is often made from kombu (kelp) or katsuobushi (dried smoked bonito flakes). It can also be made from mushrooms or in this case, flying fish.
When fast food, just isn’t fast enough. Look for this crazy concept of a hamburger vending machine. A Tokyo restaurant has installed a vending machine at the front of its shop that it regularly fills with burgers. If you have no time to order, simply drop in some coins and be rewarded with a fresh(ish) burger.
The machine can pop out a classic cheeseburger in no time. We aren’t sure if they are good enough to put the golden arches out of business just yet but it sounds like a pretty good late night snack to us.
7. French Crepes
If you can make a hamburger in a vending machine, then a round of crepes seems really easy. This vending machine dispenses fresh crepes with cream fruit and even caramel. The tasty treat pops out in a nicely designed glass bottle to avoid being squashed.
8. Ice Cream
Fancy a sweet cold treat while you’re walking under the hot sun? Look no further than your left, because there is always an Ice Cream Vending Machine around the corner. You don’t have to wait for an Ice Cream truck anymore.
9. Ramen Noodles
Instant cup noodles aren’t the healthiest of snacks but if you still have a hankering for ramen or udon, there are machines in Japan that dispense a hot bowl of these noodles complete with meat and veggies. Yummy!
10. Corn Soup
Have a hankering for some warm soup? Luck for you, corn soup in a can is commonly found in beverage vending machines in Japan. This one is made with Hokkaido cream and butter. Sounds pretty good.
You’re on your way home from doing a grocery shopping and suddenly realize that you forgot to buy some fresh eggs. Worry not, you can get your eggs from the vending machines!
Most egg vending machines are owned by farmers. They’re commonly found in the countryside.
In times when you are just too lazy to walk all the way to the nearest grocery, pick up a basket, do your shopping, and line up at the counter, these vegetable vending machines come in handy. You can see them both in residential areas of the city, and rural areas of Japan.
13. Beer and Liquor
Since beer is really popular to Japanese salary men, having beer and liquor vending machines isn’t a bad idea at all. Not to mention you can grab a can of beer quick and easy if you luckily pass by a vending machine that dispenses alcoholic beverages.
Source: Japan Talk, HongKiat