Japan is a model of efficiency in so many ways. I have often marveled at how a city like Tokyo, with one of the highest population densities in the world, seems to run like clockwork—people are on time to where they are going, they don’t fight, and everyone just kind of falls in line. It seems to all come down to organization and efficiency.
So in the spirit of efficiency, it should be no surprise that Japan is home to nearly six million vending machines, and I’m always astounded at what I may find next. As we showed you before, even restaurants take something from the vending machine culture.
While I was researching to tell you more about these amazing vending machines though, I found a wonderful post by Joe Schott on Heavy.com which tells the story better than I could hope to, so I will put it below for your enjoyment. Their choice of videos is hilarious. So without further adieu, from Heavy.com, we present to you:
The 20 Awesomest Japanese Vending Machines: Porno, Panties & Pringles
Japan is absolutely nuts over vending machines. The island nation has around 5.6 million coin and card-operated machines. That’s about one vending machine for every 23 people. That is also more vending machines in Japan than people living in New Zealand. So one would expect with the competition that 5.6 million vending machines breeds, everyone is trying to make their vending machine stand out. This densely populated landscape has led to Japan having some of the most innovation and downright weird vending machines in the world. Come along with Heavy-san as we take you on a guided tour of Japan’s 20 Awesomest Vending Machines.
1. Smart Car vending machine
Ever stare at your work’s vending machine and wish you could just buy a car instead of a bag of salted peanuts? Japan has. Now you can purchase a Smart Car from a vending machine, but it really sucks when the machine eats your money.
2. Pringles vending machine
Oddly specific… here is a purely Pringles vending machine/game. No Pizza Pringles though? Come on Japan, that’s the best one.
3. Live Crab vending machine
Now, this isn’t EXACTLY from Japan, it’s from China. But it is definitely in the same spirit, and makes a convincing case for top Awesomest Award. It is a live crab vending machine and the video below touches on some of the logistics behind stocking live crab and keeping them fresh (read: alive).
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4. Farm Fresh Egg vending machine
A pretty bizarre choice for a vending machine considering you cannot eat uncooked eggs. The fresh eggs vending machine can net you a sack of eggs for about $2, but how does it deliver them to you without cracking? Check out the video below to see it in action.
5. Tommy Lee Jones (BOSS) Canned Coffee
Did you know Tommy Lee Jones jumped on the Japanese product endorsement gravy train? Well he did, and for BOSS canned coffee. Check out the above commercial where Jones plays an aggravated security officer who also happens to be an alien of sorts. The BOSS canned coffee vending machines also sport Tommy Lee’s mug in a strangely semi-aggressive profile pose.
6. Japanese Banana vending machine
Ever get the insatiable urge to eat 5 bananas? Me either, but apparently they do in Japan and the only cure is more vending machine. Check out the above video to see the bizarre contraption in action, and take note of the special banana peel garbage cans placed next to the machine.
7. Balloon vending machine
Ever have a crappy day and wish you had a smiley-face balloon to cheer you up? In Japan, they’ve got a vending machine for that!
8. Used Panty vending machine
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The lovely Alex Sim-Wise gets down and dirty with the soiled panty underworld that thrives in Japan. The above video has her entering a shop that sells various soiled panties, soiled by various girls. She then finds the “holy grail” of vending machines, a soiled panty dispenser. Only 30 bucks! Whattadeal!
9. Fried Chicken & French Fry vending machine
The colonel was really caught sleeping on this one. How are you going to let Japan beat you to making vending machine fried chicken available 24 hours? Come on Sanders!
10. Just a Regular Cigarette vending machine….but….look at the bottom?
Let’s take a closer look shall we?
That’s a Lot of Muscles!
Huh, a supremely fit man smoking, giving off the impression that smoking is healthy for you… what’s on the side of this machine?
With Really Short Shorts…
This is weird Japan…
11. Cup Noodle vending machine
This is pretty great, actually if any of you want to steal my idea and become multi-millionaires, buy a license to sell these machines and install them at college dorms and campuses across the country. You’re welcome.
12. Crepe vending machine
First Japan takes our fried chicken, a symbol of America, and puts it in their vending machines and now they take France’s crepes. At least they know France probably won’t do anything about it and if we weren’t so lazy, we’d take back our fried chicken too.
13. Weirdest Coke Machine Ever
Like a cross between Stephen King’s IT and Pee Wee Herman’s Playhouse, this coke machine is the stuff of your worst nightmares. In a cross promotion with Japan’s version of Lady Gaga, Coke rolled this doozy of an eyesore which dispenses nothing but Coca-Cola. What’s worse? To retrieve your coke, you must reach up this devil-clown vending machine’s skirt.
14. The Second-Weirdest Coke Machine Ever
Not to be outdone by itself, Japan has a Coke Robot Vending machine that walks around Shibuya Station spitting out cokes and lazerbeams. Check out the video below to see the Coke Robot, dubbed “VENDING MACHINE RED” in action… kind of.
Vending Machine Red Commercial
15. Dildo vending machine
Yes, Japan doesn’t neglect their females vending machine needs.
16. Porno vending machine
This is genius! Porno magazine vending machine! Finally, you don’t have to look guilt-stricken into the eyes of a 7-11 cashier when you buy your smut.
17. Pokemon vending machine
It wouldn’t be a Japanese 20 Awesomest list without some kind of gaming reference thrown in. Check out this all-Pokémon vending machine.
18. Lettuce vending machine
Duh, of course there is a lettuce vending machine where the lettuce grows artificially without any real sunlight. How else would you get your lettuce?
19. Beer vending machine
Now we’re cooking with gas. Here is the single greatest use of vending machine technology ever in the world. A vending machine that vends beer. Pure, unadulterated genius. Also, how do they check your ID at these things? Eh, who cares, whoever made this should be granted a Nobel prize.
20. Classic Combo: Whiskey and M&M’s
For around 6 bucks, you can be living real classy with the strangely awesome M&M plus Whiskey combo. Great idea, great effort.