You are here10 Most Bizarre Vending Machines in Japan

10 Most Bizarre Vending Machines in Japan

By hviola - Posted on 14 August 2008

With 1 vending machine for every 23 people, Japan has one of the highest vending machine densities in the world.

You can hardly walk 100 meters without finding a vending machine in Japan. Japan has a dense population, limited space, and a decreasing number of working age people. Vending machines have proven to be a convenient solution to the problem. Almost any good you can purchase in a store, you can find in one of Japan’s 6 million vending machines.

Here are some of the more unusual vending machines found in Japan:

1. Lobster vending machine

Photo of Lobster Vending Machine, Japan

You can find this in Osaka. Modeled after a claw machine, for a mere 100 yen you can catch your very own fresh, live lobster.

2. Fortune vending machines

Photo of Fortune Vending Machine, Japan.jpg

These vending machines are commonly found at temples and shrines. They are small slips of paper that presumably tell your fortune (called “omikuji” in Japan). For good luck, omikujis are traditionally tied to trees or pillars.

3. Used schoolgirl panties vending machines


Controversy surrounds the actual existence of these vending machines. It was declared illegal in 1993 to sell used schoolgirl panties in vending machines, yet many locals and travelers claim they still see them around!

4. Flower vending machines


Don’t spend enough time with your wife? Flower bouquets and potted plants are available 24/7.

5. Egg vending machines

Egg Vending Machine, Japan.jpg

Sometimes you just need eggs.

6. Girls phone numbers vending machines



7. Hot meals vending machines

Hot Meals Vending Machine, Japan.jpg

These on-the-go vending machines sell every meal you can possibly think of. Hamburgers, hot dogs, stew, curry, spaghetti, french fries, fried octopus, and the list goes on.

8. Umbrella vending machines


Stuck out in the rain? No stores open? Japan has found a solution.

9. Lingerie vending machines

Lingerie Vending Machine, Japan.jpg

Available any time you need it.

10. Rhinoceros beetles vending machines

Rhinoceros Beetle.jpg

Rhinoceros beetles are very popular pets in Japan. Collecting them and fighting them is a favorite pastime among young Japanese boys. Check out Japanese Bug Fights!

Row of vending machines in Japan:
vending machines, Japan.jpg

Lobster vending machine photo by Gavin Anderson under CC by SA license. Photo of Fortune vending machine by psd under CC license. Photo used for Used Schoolgirl Panties vending machine by thp365 under CC license. Photo used for Bouquet Vending Machine by catalin82 under Royalty Free license. Egg vending machine photo by antjeverena under CC by SA license. Photo used for Girls' Phone Numbers Vending Machine by Wickedly Smart under CC by SA license. Hot Meals Vending Machine by kalleboo under CC by SA license. Lingerie Vending Machine by w00kie under CC license.

Those hotfood vending machines can also be found in Holland - I know of one in Leiden train station.

We are Singaporean. We would like to venture into the 24hr hot food vending machine. Kindly advise how do we go about it.tks

indeed there is also a flower vendingmachine at amsterdam station

You can see fortune vending machines in some of the bigger temples in Kyoto.

The weirdest thing I ever got out of a Japanese vending machine was a glass jar with three Kit-Kats in it - a bit of a ripoff for 200 yen.

Also, what you get out of those hot food vending machines is greasy and vile.

Well, there's a lobster vending machine at Fat Willy's sports bar in Mesa AZ. I think it's the same manufacturer too; the art look similar.

This is a neat list! Although I've seen a hot food vending machine in America (Rhode Island) and I've seen Flower Machines at airports in New England. I'm sure the placement is different in Japan though. ^_^

love the hot coffee/ hot chocolate in a can from some Japanese machines, great in winter.

They have umbrella vending machines in Bergen (Norway) too, and they're made by a company clled "Majic Mushroom Vending"...some conection to Amsterdam even there?

I like the lobster vending machine, I think we need mo' kooky vending machines stateside.

There are hot food vending machines a lot of places. And there are different kinds of fortune ones at malls. Umbrellas are necessary. That would be a useful one.

ive seen lobster vending machines at a lot of seafood restaurants, especially along the coast, and joes crab shack had them until some cruelty thing made them get rid of it

The idea of this machine is awsome in a strange way

That's so weird... Why buy used underware ? -.-

To sniff it in a dark room, of course...duh!

they have, or at least had, cigarette vending machines in japan, where you could purchase single cigarettes.

I think the lobster one is the most bizarre. But also kinda cool if you like fresh lobster.

I've never seen just single cigarettes in the machine- only whole packs, but selling them one at a time would not surprise me. And don't forget the beer vending machines!
I used to work as a nurse in a float-pool in several hospitals, and they all have flower vending machines. But really, you can find vending machines similar to these over in the States, but it is the sheer number of them here in Japan that sets them apart. In the US they are a novelty, here, they are everywhere you go. Even when you are on a lonely road in the middle of nowhere there will be some vending machines all alone, tucked into some bushes. But when you're driving in the city and you want something out of a vending machine, you just pull your little car up onto the sidewalk, get whatever, then drive down the sidewalk and back out into traffic. This place is nuts- I love it!

I think the strangest vending machines I've seen are the Apple/iPod vending machines. The idea that someone would casually walk by a vending machine and decide to shell out $300 on an iPod kind of boggles my mind.

Though I don't think I wan't to catch lobster out of a game machine, I love the fact that I can easily get just about any type of drink and many types of food. I also like the fat they take larger bills. Hawaii, at the 99 Ranch Store (market)'s pretty sweet, and there's a wall of pics of people who successfully got a lobster...I think it's $5 a play though...

I have reached your page by searching for Flower Vending Machine, We Actually Produce these machines, and at the beginning we thought that it might be little bizarre. We have completed the development of the Flower Vending Machine and we actually sell it worldwide (not only Japan). You are wellcome to get into our site and grab a picture of the machine to put it on this article, as I can see you don't have the correct picture for the Flower Vending Machine. Great Article, I will Stumble You.

I like it


You've gotta love vending machine takoyaki! Can't beat that stuff!

And how the **** is any human being meant to read the captcha codes on this dumb website?!

I like the banana vending machines. There's one in Shibuya...and the bananas are quite tasty.


Teach English in Korea


Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to the Japan Guidebook RSS Feed


Japan Accommodation