Unique Vending Machines in Tokyo – Unusual Discoveries

bath salts, donut, yakitori vending machines
Bath salts (L), donuts (m), yakitori (R).

Vending machines in Japan are famous. The majority of them sell drinks. I’m sure one will be near you. You can’t walk a few hundred meters in Tokyo without running into one of them. Well, this article is about some I found. It also has a twist! Are you ready? First, let’s have a little background information on them.

What do vending machines sell in Tokyo?

My list is not exhaustive, but things I’ve seen are:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Cigarettes
  • Flowers
  • Fried food
  • Fruit
  • Ice cream
  • Rice
  • Soft drinks
  • Umbrellas
  • Underwear (no joke)
Meidaimae Station Kakudai Base vending machine room
Meidaimae Station 's Kakudai Base vending machine shop.

Why do people use them?

  • They are convenient. You won’t need to walk far to find one.
  • Japan has many beverage companies. Vending machines are a cheap and efficient way to sell their products.
  • They accept cash and IC cards (most anyway).

How much do things cost from them?

Drinks can range from 100 to 170 yen. Redbull energy drinks can be nearly ¥300. Most things are very reasonable.

The other things can vary. But, they will be very affordable in my experience. After all, they are there for people’s convenience.

Yakutori vending machine
The Yakutori vending machine.

What happened to me?

I go to many train stations. Many I know well, and others I don’t. But this time, I was at one I often use and noticed something. One shop on the train platform had closed a few months ago. Some vending machines now occupy the space.

Today, I finally went in to check them out. They blew me away! I found some unique vending machines in Tokyo. Well, maybe I exaggerate, but they sold some great stuff.

Kakudai Base vending machine
The Kakudai Base vending machine.

What was special about the vending machines I found?

Well, it wasn’t one vending machine but a whole room of them. They sold some common items like orange juice and water. But some sold things I’d never seen before:

  • Bags
  • Bath salts
  • Cosmetics (soap, jelly mask, shampoo, moisturizer etc)
  • Donuts
  • Yakitori

Kakudai Base, a Japanese company, supplied the machines and products. You can see its Instagram page here.

Where were they?

I found them at Meidaimae Station on the Keio-Inokashira Line. They were on the platform for Kichijoji-bound trains.

How were the prices?

You could get ten sticks of Yakitori for ¥1000. That would be the price at most restaurants. Many products on sale were the same. Everything seemed affordable.

There was one that stood out. Moisturiser was ¥6000! I don’t use it, but I felt it was expensive for something out of a vending machine. Maybe you can set me straight on that. Let me know by commenting below.

Japanese makeup vending machine
One of the makeup vending machines

What was the twist?

You know how I use a Fujifilm camera. Well, this time, I didn’t. I only had my old Google Pixel 5 cellphone. It seemed appropriate to use.

The station staff might have protested if I used my “real” camera. The camera on my phone seemed safer. How often do you see video on the street? I bet a lot. But no one complains if they are in the field of view.

That can’t be said for DSLRS and mirrorlesses. Point one of those at people, and tension might arise. That has happened to many photographers.

Kakudai Base bath salts vending machine
Kakudai Base bath salts.

Wrapping up

I was happy to find these vending machines near me. They educated me more on what you can buy from them. And they showed me how expensive their products can be! But that’s okay, as this discovery brightened up my day.

What did you think of the photos? The Pixel 5 might be old, but it takes good images, especially if you edit them. Anyway, please leave questions and comments below.

One last thing. These machines seem to be a “pop-up” store. So they might not be there for a long time. If you want to check them out, you should get moving!

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2 thoughts on “Unique Vending Machines in Tokyo – Unusual Discoveries”

  1. I watched a program that showed old vending machines in Gumna-ken yestreday at channel 5 or 6.
    I found Thai spicy sause vending machine near Toyama exsit in Takadanobaba.

    1. Vending machines are great, aren’t they? I found a dashi machine near my house the other which I’ll check out soon. And Thai sauce sounds great? It’s at the Takadanobaba’s Toyama exit? I need to check that out! Thanks for telling me.

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