Photo: Pakutaso
lifestyle

Some of Japan’s most iconic vending machines will soon be no more

11 Comments
By Katie Pask, SoraNews24

Anyone who has spent time in Japan has seen their fair share of vending machines. There’s an estimated one vending machine for every 34 people, and even in the most unlikely of places, you’re sure to spot one offering up something practical or something rare and luxurious. But perhaps not for much longer.

Nichirei’s Hot Food vending machines, commonly seen at service areas, airports, or on ferries, provide warm snacks like hamburgers, chicken, fries, or the stalwart grilled rice balls. For hungry travelers, these vending machines are a welcome sight when you just want some hot food quick.

However, by the end of March, the Hot Food vending machines are to be discontinued.

In fact, the number of Hot Food vending machines has been in decline for a while. According to reports, the manufacturers haven’t been making new machines for a few years now.

A representative for the company commented: “When we started the Hot Food vending machines over 30 years ago, there weren’t as many convenience stores as there are now. Customers traveling could stop at service areas and enjoy some hot food, even if it was late at night and all other shops were closed. But these days, there isn’t a lot of demand for our services.“

Instant noodle and other light-meal vending machines will still be available, but Nichirei Hot Food vending machine fans took to Twitter to mourn the loss of one of the most iconic vending machines seen throughout the country.

“Now I’ve got a craving for food from those vending machines!”

“Thank you for your service.”

“I hope there’s still one at terminal two at Haneda airport….”

“I always buy something from those vending machines whenever I see them. I like the grilled rice balls.”

“You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

While Nichirei’s reign as the hot food vending machine kings might be coming to an end, there are plenty of other vending machines around Japan offering delicious food. Whether it’s pizza or a beef bowl, Japan still has us covered when a conbini just won’t do.

Source: Yahoo News via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Company president motivates employees via vending machine with personalised messages

-- Japan’s first beef bowl vending machine goes into service in Tokyo

-- To prevent heatstroke and COVID-19, Ibaraki vending machines dispense free cold water to students

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

11 Comments
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Good. Vending machines are visually ugly and ecologically wasteful. There's a tiny park near where I live that has a row of these machines keeping drinks hot and cold 24 hours a day through all seasons. An insult to our planet.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

Yes to Tokyo-m.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

We want vending machines for condoms, sex toys and accessories, energy drinks, etc. I mean something really useful.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A representative for the company commented: “When we started the Hot Food vending machines over 30 years ago, there weren’t as many convenience stores as there are now. Customers traveling could stop at service areas and enjoy some hot food, even if it was late at night and all other shops were closed. But these days, there isn’t a lot of demand for our services.“

As someone who came from a country where vending machines are quite rare and convenience stores are more common, I tend to favor vending machines more since its quicker and the feeling of buying something from a robot feels more futuristic. I wish several types of vending machines would stay in Japan. I think the weirdest thing I've bought from one was a hot can of corn soup, tastes great though.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Vending machines are visually ugly and ecologically wasteful.

Ecologically wasteful is a good point, visually ugly is in the eye of the beholder. I like 'em, one of the many things I like about visiting Japan, but as only a visitor I can do without the hot food option. One thing's for sure, if they tried putting as many vending machines in my country as they have in Japan, 99.5% of them would be vandalised, ransacked and permanently out of commission within days.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

if they tried putting as many vending machines in my country as they have in Japan, 99.5% of them would be vandalised, ransacked and permanently out of commission within days.

I think that would depend on where they are put. Many would be vandalised but ensuring there are a few security camera's around them would make sure the vandals get caught and the machines after a while would be relatively safe. I loved them when I was in Japan. Super convenient.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It’s so great to have them, points of relief and orientation, wherever you are, wherever you walk...And not to forget also their benefits in emergencies, some of them even becoming a free of charge life support.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Other than purchasing drinks the majority of the hot vending machines had bad food, at least food that's nothing to rave about, I would rather eat chips than purchase food that's been sitting around for hours throughout the day. At least with the Convenience stores From the morning until the afternoon they frequently change their food. fresher and way better from a quality standpoint.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When I first came to Japan I thought they were harmful to the environment and vowed not to use them. Since then, I've enjoyed buying food, drinks, batteries, toys etc. It's a way of life now (for better or worse)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So many people care about their own convenience rather than the health of the planet. What a hopeless world we seem to live in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow these self righteous "Environmentalists" prefer to make people's lives more inconvenient and difficult in general because "Environment"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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