There’s no doubt that Japan is the land of vending machines. Among a population of 120 million it is said that there is one vending machine for every 20 or so people which equals erm……a lot of machines!
The majority of them sell drinks and cigarettes but other things are available such as newspapers, flowers, porn, fried food, condoms, ice-cream, toilet paper, disposable camera’s, kids toys, beer, rice, eggs (yes, really!) and perhaps the most famous story overseas is of used schoolgirl undies being sold in these vending machines but I think that may just be urban myth. I am certainly aware that new underwear can be purchased from these ‘jihanki‘ (vending machines) as I have seen that.
Now, the ‘Dole’ banana company have started selling their products in a vending machine which I came across in one of the far-flung parts of the huge Shibuya station. Wondering what might happen to them when they fell I put my hand in to see that their was a foam landing mat to stop them becoming instantly bruised. Individual ones can be bought for 130 yen (about a pound) or you can get a bunch for 390 yen.
While on the subject of banana’s, today is unofficially banana day in Japan as ba(8) plus nana (7) are the month and day respectively.