Japan has more vending machines or jidouhanbaiki per head of population than any other country in the world. And while you’re most likely to come across those dispensing soft drinks and water, there are plenty more unusual machines to look out for in Tokyo and beyond. Here our some of the more bizarre vending machines to hunt down while you’re on your Japan Adventure Tour.
Certainly an acquired taste to a non-Japanese palate, natto, or fermented soy beans, is commonly served over rice for breakfast and is famous for its slimy texture. Outside Ikejiri Ohashi Station you’ll find a vending machine dedicated to the stuff.
Banana producer Dole have created a machine that solely dispenses this most convenient of snack foods. If you find yourself in need of a pick-me-up while navigating the labyrinthine Shibuya Station, just head to the basement floor’s third exit for a single banana or a whole bunch.
For those of you who know your Pichu from your Pikachu, head to entertainment district Odaiba, where you’ll find an adorable yellow vending machine selling Pokemon plushes and keychains.
Vending Machine Restaurant
If you have some time to kill at Haneda Airport at the end of your Japan adventure, you could do worse than a trip to Automat Gourmet 24. This restaurant of sorts is a collection of vending machines serving up some classic Japanese fare. Onigiri (rice balls), takoyaki (fried octopus balls) and korokke (croquettes) are some of the most popular options and the restaurant has machines selling drinks too. Head to the lobby of Terminal 2 for a uniquely Japanese experience.
Every summer Japan experiences a rainy season and the downpours can be torrential! If you happen to be at Misato or Hino Station while on you adventure tour and in need of some wet weather gear, look out for the vending machines selling umbrellas.
Yup, you read that correctly – there is a vending machine selling wigs for dogs. So if you’ve always wondered what your pooch would look like with a mullet – now is your opportunity to find out. Head to Ginza Station to find it.
These machines are pretty commonplace in Japan but are a welcome novelty for the rest of us. Japanese summers are hot and humid and these are a convenient (and delicious) way to cool down.