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Subject: Los Angeles #70 - Japanese Vending Machines
(Posted on Mar 11, 2016 at 03:04PM ) Tags:
At a wedding as best man right after the Northeast Blackout of 2003, you find yourself in conversation about things being REALLY different in Japan with a relative of the bride, since a large contingent from her family are over across the Pacific for the event.

That Asian country has a ton of very kool things going on, and just one of those is the ubiquitous vending machine. That distribution mechanism / channel has been taken to a whole new level of near-art, way beyond the more functional and mundane electromechanical boxes typically found on this side in North America.



From funky and colorful designs, to high-tech user interfaces and inner workings, and the actual products dispensed—which run the gamut from food, snacks, beverages (including alcohol), and a whole lot more to undergarments, pets, and even cars as above—the Japanese vending machine is in a world unto itself, as countless foreigners can attest to when living or traveling there.


From a global perspective, here’s a list of some of the most bizarre items ever to come out of a vending machine. Note that a good third of them are from Japan, thoroughly cementing their prowess and proficiency in this department. As a sidebar, Bob nods in acknowledgment to the crack pipe vending machine (clocking in at #11 on the countdown) right here in good old YVR, Canuckistan.


Here are some additional links diving more deeply into the subject of the Japanese vending machine: one, two and three. Any place that sells alcohol in public and allows for its immediate consumption thereafter has to be viewed favorably overall.


And yes, you did hear and/or read that correctly in a few spots above. This type of item below (be it brand new and in various "pre-owned" states) was, and maybe still is, indeed sold in vending machines.


As mentioned in the book: 

“Hey there, buddy boy,” Wade added, “you lot in Japan also sell used girls’ panties out
of vending machines. My girl Klyta told me about this years ago.”

“That sounds pretty civilized to me,” I said.

“Weren’t those panty sales banned, since some were allegedly coming from underage
schoolgirls, Teddy?” Wade asked.

“Everything’s relative,” Teddy shrugged. “You can still find them—in Akihabara, Tokyo’s
electronics district. You just need to know where to go.” Teddy winked at him.

“Just like with everything out there in the world,” I said.


Some may cry "Urban Legend," saying it can’t possibly be true. As with most things that one is told about the world out there today, do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Snopes weighs in on this matter here as an added back-up, and there's more here.

This single element is part of a more encompassing Burusera subculture that is expanded upon hereOr better yet, hop on a plane and be your own truth-seeking, “sneakers on the ground" journalist as in this nicely narrated overview about Japan's panty fetish. 


The differences in Japanese society and culture spill over to humor too. For proof positive of this angle, just watch this surreal scene snipped from a 2005 movie called Funky Forest


And so you thought Monty Python was a bit "out there" at times back in their heyday? Ha! For some, after that unusual experience, and depending on how open you are to new things, you may be feeling a bit like our furry friend below.
 

As for Japan on the whole. and figuring out stuff there, well, we’re not even scratching the surface with this one post.

Yo, when you’re some single dude hitting up weddings all around the world, one gets into all kinds of interesting situations, experiences and discussions. There’s no substitute for travel, various pundits have said thoughout time, but you can live some of that vicariously in this book, at a small sliver of the price. But after reading it all, a few may well feel as our furry friend above did after that last video. Go figure.