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Promise delayed, but kept

So it's a bit further along then I planned but I'm finally going to get around to sushi vending machines. Now, it'd probably be a bit of a letdown if I just popped up a picture of said machine so I figured I'd explore the entire idea of vending machines to begin with. While most of us have no doubt seen machines that vend soft drinks, cigarettes (for those individuals older than 10-15 anyway), and snack foods, that's about as far as it goes for the most part. There used to be a vending machine in the basement of the University of Chicago hospital that would dispense hot pastrami sandwiches and fries, which is about the coolest thing I've ever run across personally. I imagine those things are rare since it's the only one of its kind I've ever run across.

The japanese have taken vending machine technology and proceeded to kick the rest of the world's ass. There are times it seems that there is nothing they can't or won't sell through a vending machine. Not only that, their vending machines seem to do it just do it better. Just take a look at an average drink machine there and compare it to the last one you've seen.



The sheer number of options is pretty impressive, not to mention that most of these machines will dispense hot beverages at the same time. It'll actually heat up your can of coffee or whatever for you alongside cans of chilled soda. That's pretty impressive considering that it's more than our coke machines can manage and is apparently profit-generating to boot. Speaking of coke machines...



It almost looks like what would happen if that transformer cube whozit hit a coke machine.

So not only do the Japanese vending machines do it better, they also sell things that we don't run into in the states. Not only are they still selling cigarettes through them but you can buy booze as well.



Can you just imagine the run on this sort of machine if they put it on some college campus in the states? All you would need is to put it next to the 'medical' marijuana vending machine and it might be the most popular place on campus.

Beverages aside, since I've been looking into the subject I've seen pictures of vending machines in Japan that sell an amazing variety of foodstuffs. Forget bags of chips. There are machines which sell fresh eggs, udon noodles, ramen, and even natto. I know fermented soybeans are probably infinitely more popular there than it would be here, but I still find it hard to believe that there are enough patrons to justify such a vending machine. I mean, who walks down the street and thinks to themselves, man, I just wish there were a way I could get a pre-packaged chunk of soybeans that looks like someone blew snots all over them and tastes gagarific. There's even a vending machine that dispenses sushi.



I think you probably have to have a lot of guts to contemplate the idea of eating raw machine shot out of a vending machine in most cases. It seems like it would be open invitation to experience the stomach flu and we all know where that ends up.



The funny thing is while I wouldn't trust a sushi machine located in the states, I could see myself trusting one in Japan. Maybe it's nothing but pure bias, but it seems to me that the Japanese have a sense of general societal responsibility that doesn't exist here. I'm more likely to trust that some wage slave there is sure to stock the machine with fresh offerings each day rather than keeping the old stuff around to increase the profit margin.

I know it's been said in many places but it's hard not to perceive the Japanese as an orderly and law-abiding people. Believe it or not, this fact is actually reflected heavily in their vending machines. There are vending machines everywhere in the country, even in places you might not normally expect them to be. Take a moment and think about the most infamous Japanese vending machine of all time, the one that sells used school-girl panties.



If you look at the linked related video, this whole host of adult vending machines are located in the equivalent of bumfuck nowhere. If you stocked a vending machine like this with pr0n and put it in the boonies in the United States, I'll bet you dollars to donuts the damn thing would be destroyed and emptied within a week. Hell, a week is probably an overestimation in this case. Forget for the moment that you have a society where a laboring rice farmer treks home at the end of a hard day's work and stops to pick up some pr0n and a dildo from a vending machine on his way. Also forget that in this society there's actually some business man or company who feels that it's a profitable venture to place such a set of vending machines in the middle of a bunch of rice fields. What you have to conclude is that however maladjusted the society is, it's certainly a law-abiding one. From what I've seen, this sort of pr0n-shack filled with vending machines is not an uncommon sight in the sticks in Japan. I can only imagine there are a lot of horny farmers without internet access and a lot of happy teenage boys.

In case you were curious, there actually are rice vending machines where you can apparently buy up to 25 pounds of rice at a go. Again, whoever would have thought there existed such a need for something like this to begin with?



As a conclusion to this ramble through the interesting world of Japanese vending machines, I thought I would end with my favorite out of all the ones I've discovered. Surprisingly, it isn't even the used panty machine. Enjoy.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
wanderingasian
Feb. 28th, 2010 06:33 am (UTC)
I love Japanese vending machines. I was a frequent customer when I was in tokyo. I miss the Japanese Grape Fanta, the coca cola. The lemon soda is available here, but I dunno it just doesn't seem the same.

Sadly I didn't find any dirty panty vending machines.
henwy
Feb. 28th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
If only the dollar were stronger I'd consider a trip to Japan. The place is frighteningly expensive even in the best of times and with the exchange rate the way it is, I couldn't see paying for such a trip. I do sort of like the idea of filming a vending machine montage though. Japan might be one of the only places in the world where you can practically survive on nothing but vending machines.
wanderingasian
Mar. 1st, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
people probably have to with the lack of money moving around
henwy
Mar. 1st, 2010 05:55 am (UTC)
It sounds like a great documentary idea. I should copyright it before some asshole steals it.
socarefully
Feb. 28th, 2010 10:40 am (UTC)
When I was in Japan I saw lots of vending machine (including pr0n ones) interesting ones that I liked included flower vending machines, fresh vegetable vending machines, bagel vending machines, hot snack vending machines and vitamin vending machines.

To see the used underwear vending machines you have to go into a rural area ~ when I drove to Kyoto there were some at the side of the road and also at a rest area.....There are more pr0n ones than used underwear ones though.
henwy
Feb. 28th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
Fresh Vegetable vending machines? Did it dispense one carrot or cucumber at a time? I'm just amazed that these things actually make money quite frankly. I hear the used-panty machines cost anywhere from 50-100 dollars a pop. That's a lot of money to be putting into a vending machine.
socarefully
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:15 am (UTC)
The vegetable vending maching was selling bags of vegetables it did not say how many were in the bag......it was the type of vending machine that is basically boxes and people fill with whatever items they like.

Some are quite expensive (I.e. The used underwear ones) however you can get drinks ones that sell everything for 100 yen.
henwy
Mar. 1st, 2010 09:18 am (UTC)
Even that's sorta pricey if you think about it. It'd be the equivalent of paying $1.12 for a can of soda at today's exchange rate. That's higher than almost any vending machine around here barring tourist attractions. Still, I guess you can only drink a can of soda once but you can get (years?) of enjoyment out of a pair of used panties.
socarefully
Mar. 2nd, 2010 07:17 am (UTC)
Often the cans of soda are cheaper in a vending machine compared to the convenience store price.
(Deleted comment)
henwy
Mar. 7th, 2010 06:49 am (UTC)
I'm just amazed no one vandalizes them. Not the coke machines and such, but the pr0n ones for sure.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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