Japan by now is firmly established in the minds of many as a notably unique and curious place. The country is a wonderful, whimsical mixture of ancient tradition and technological urban modernity and the result is, well, interesting to be euphemistic.
From ancient shrines in the shadow of snow-capped mountains to robot bars in buzzing cities there are tons of things to see and do. One of the most unique aspects of Japan must be the vending machine culture and insane abundance of automated vending machines to be found everywhere.
In the cities of Japan, you are likely to always be a short walk away from one of these vending machines that stock everything from groceries to hard liquor and a bunch of other things you'd never expect to come out of a machine.
According to Business Insider at slightly over 5 million nationwide, "Japan has the highest density of vending machines worldwide. There is approximately 1 vending machine per every 23 people, according to the Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association."
The vending machine culture in Japan do offer those inclined to think deeply a glimpse into Japan urban culture more generally. What do vending machines offer? Convenience and speed. The hardworking and productive citizens of Japan are strapped for time and the vending machines are emblematic of this, with these automated machines offering things Tokyoites to Osakans need - easily and quickly.
With that understanding, here is a look at some of the more unusual vending machines and products they hold in the land of the rising sun.
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Flying fish soup
Knitted cat hats
Guns (replicas we hope)
Eggs (yep, just plain old eggs)
Fast food served even faster
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