Japanese vending machines

Japanese vending machines

A couple of colorful drink dispensers in Tokyo, Japan.

Vending machines (jidōhanbaiki or jihanki in Japanese) are incredibly common in Japan, with about one for every twenty-two citizens. Around half of them are beverage vending machines, and they can’t be overlooked, especially in large cities. It is a very easy machine to use when on the go, and this convenience has helped with its popularity.

Story lines

  • So benri!

    story by Simone van Driel

    Beverage vending machines are super benri (‘convenient’). They made their way to Japan in the second half of the 20th century and quickly developed into a major factor in the country’s distribution system. The fast-paced lifestyle of a busy city like Tokyo was the perfect environment for the machine to flourish. This story will tell you all there is to know about vending machines in Japan.

    Begin this story