Everywhere you look in Japan, no doubt it’s hard to miss the widespread varieties of vending machines or 自動販売機/自販機 (Jidouhanbaiki/ Jihanki) in the country. From the most common products like warm and cold drinks to the most unusual selection of fruits, clothing and even food, you’ll surely find them here.
Nowadays, a number of vending machines in the country have become revolutionized with innovative touch screen panels and screens with built-in cameras giving off certain recommended drink to its buyers. Visitors coming to the country have surely seen these but there are 3 cool things that you might not know vending machines in Japan can do!
Before, the only form of payment available for vending machines was cash. IC cards like Pasmo and Suica have become a convenient payment option for public transportation and as well as many establishments like convenience stores, department stores and even restaurants all over the country. And in 2011, vending machines also began to accept the same form of payment by just tapping the card.
Nowadays, some vending machines in Japan also give buyers the option to donate their change when you buy a drink from it. Some people may feel hesitant to give donations directly to solicitors which started the idea to put these options in vending machines.
Japan is a country prone to a number of natural disasters. Because of that, selected vending machines are operated to dispense drinking water free of charge when the water supply gets cut off during a disaster. At the same time, the displays of the machine can also show text entered by a city official to show announcements like evacuation information.
Vending machines in Japan are not only convenient, cool and modernized, but they are also being used now to help in different situations like the ones mentioned above. Not many people know of these possibilities there are with vending machines here in Japan!