Got Porn? – Japanese Vending Machines

The free market is alive and well in Japan. It seems to be embodied in the fact that anyone can buy whatever they want, anywhere they want, whenever they want. If you’ve ever been to Tokyo, you’ll have seen the insane amount of vending machines hoarded together along the streets. They’re everywhere. Pretty much anywhere you go, even when you visit the bathroom, you’re confronted by an automated shopping mall stuck to the wall, not just the run-of-the-mill condom / Smint combo but stuff like cock rings, chocolate bars and beer. Perhaps some Japanese company thought it would be a good idea if people just brought a pocket full of loose change to the bathroom and started a party. Not a bad idea, but the point is that automated consumerism has taken on a massive relevance in Japanese consumer society and if you’ve got the spare change, you get what you want. The streets all have the machines you’d expect, anyone can get a Coca Cola on any street corner and, maybe more imaginatively, Orange phone top-ups and Haagen-Dazs are pretty common. The thing about a vending machine is that creating a convenient point of purchase isn’t it’s only function. The more you look at them, the more you realise that brand advertising is being emitted onto the street on a huge level. The cost of rent for a spot on the street is probably nothing compared to a bill board ad or certainly a TV commercial. For the cost of a 30 second spot of prime Japanese air time it would probably be possible to line an entire street with vending machines for about a year, lit up like a row of christmas trees each night for tens of thousands of people to see, pumping pure brand advertising into their minds 24/7 like a slow burning reactor generating hard cash. But hey, I like vending machines and in Japan you can get nearly anything you want. Here are some weird ones.

Eggs

If ever you need to make an omelette at 4am or just want a bout of salmonella, this one’s for you. I don’t know how often these are stocked up but you can get eggs 24/7.

 

 

 

Gambling

There’s a huge gambling culture in Japan. Business men have been known to put money on rain drops falling down windows, probably when they’re really bored and have way too much cash. Everyone here likes to gamble, so some genius company has set up a system of gambling right on the street. Choose a race, pop on your Yen and get a ticket. If you win go to the bookies and get your cash, if you don’t, the machine keeps the money. It would be interesting to see how much these things make in a day.

 

 

Cigarettes

These are everywhere. Japan’s legal smoking age is 20, but you don’t need any i.d. to get hold of these. Thank you for smoking.

 

 

 

 

 

Toilet Paper

It’s usually free to use public toilets in Tokyo subways, and they’re always in pretty good shape… but there’s a catch. They’ll give you the seat but you’ve got to buy the paper. 100 Yen will get you a clean ass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porn

That’s right, Porn. Although this one is slightly more discrete than the coca-cola machine parked in front of it, Porn vending machines are on the street. You can pick up a piece of hardcore action whenever you want. Just walk in and get it. I don’t want to know what the inside of these things are like.

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