Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Keizai Koho Center Fellowship - Vending Machines

This is the third in a series of blog posts describing my experiences as part of the 2011 Keizai Koho Center Fellowship Program.

Row of vending machines in Koyto

For some reasons I was fascinated with the number and quality of the vending machines in Japan.  Vending machines were everywhere and they had tons of choices.  Some vending machines for beverages had almost 40 choices.  I admittedly drink too much soda – Diet Pepsi is my vice at home – and so I would occasionally use the vending machines to get my daily caffeine fix.  I never saw Diet Pepsi but they did have Pepsi Max and Pepsi Dry in the Japanese market.  I tried the special Pepsi Max but it had a different taste than the same product in the states and I generally drank Coca-Cola since it was more readily available.  The restaurants also often had Coke and my host family bought Coke in advance of my home stay because they had once hosted some American students and they drank a lot of Coke while visiting their house.

Vending machines in Japan

Since it was extremely hot during our stay in Japan I would sometimes stop at a vending machine to purchase something to drink.  I tried some of the fruit juices and thought they were pretty good.  My favorite new drink that I discovered was milk tea.  This drink, as stated, is a mix of milk and tea - sort of like buying a Starbucks Frappuccino at a convenience mark mart in a bottle but with less kick.  It was a great drink to cool down when I didn’t want a soda.  I drank milk tea quite a bit while in Japan and hope to find it somewhere in the states for a treat.

I liked this Orange type fruit drink

Many beverage choices at vending machine in Japan

We also did see a number of vending machines selling food items, ice cream, newspapers and cigarettes.  It was also surprising to see that you could buy beer and even sake in a vending machine.  I can’t imagine a vending machine in the states that would sell alcohol. 
 Vending machine for newspapers in Japan

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your observations of the vending machines in Japan. They must have so many vending machines due to their huge population. I also found it surprising that they sell cigarettes and beer in their vending machines. Do they have any legal age limits to liquor or tobacco in Japan? I am definitely not surprised by the variety of healthy choices they offer from their machines. The Japanese do tend to have a healthier diet than we do here in the United States. I guess it even shows up in their selections at their vending machines!

    Kathy Zoghby
    EDM310 Student at the University of S. Alabama