One of the many unique parts of Japanese culture foreigners find themselves intrigued with is the vending machine. They can be found almost everywhere around town, and it’s surprising to many foreigners that they are consistently carefully maintained. The products are stored at an appropriate temperature 24 hours a day, and available for purchase at any time, but the Japanese-only displays may be a put-off to foreigners. There have been many social media platforms that introduce Japan picking up vending machines as their topics recently. Well then, let us teach you more about Japan’s vending machines.
General way to buy from vending machines
- You can use 1000yen notes. You can insert 1000yen notes into the slot that sayd 1000yen, but not 2000yen or 5000yen notes.
- Both old and new 500yen coins can be used.
- In general, 1000yen notes, 500yen, 100yen, 50yen and 10yen coins can be used, but if the machine is out of change, you will have to insert another combination. Also, if the ‘out of change’ light is on, it means that there are no more coins left, so try to insert the exact amount in that situation.
- If you notice that there is no change after inserting your money, pull on the lever to return your money.
- Please take out the previous drink before buying the next. Continuing without removing the previous drink may damage the products or cause a blockage.
- If the product does not come out, try contacting the number located below the coin insert area, or check with the shop if there is one located adjacent to it. An alarm will sound if you try to kick it.
Types of vending machines
- Can drinks/Paper cup-style vending machines
Vending machines selling juice or coffee will allow you to choose cold or hot drinks. They may be displayed in English, but if not, the blue labels are cold drinks and the red ones are for hot drinks.
- Food products vending machines
There are a variety of vending machines for food products, from snacks to ice cream, to cup noodles and hamburgers, and even noodle products.
- Capsule vending machines
There are vending machines that sell figurines and key chains, and cute anime goods.
Although vending machines can be found anywhere, there are special ones only located in a certain area. However, drink vending machines can be found anywhere, so do try buying from one while in Hakone.