The other day I read an article about vending machines in Japan.
You can find vending machines everywhere in Japan, from Buddhist temples to the top of Mt.Fuji. Most of them sell hot and cold beverages, or cigarettes. Some of them, however, sell unusual products. For example, fresh food items, like eggs, lettuce, or strawberries. Others sell clothes, like T-shirts and neckties. Some machines have unique functions too. They can provide beverages for free in times of disaster. These are very helpful to people during emergencies.
Hm. it's interesting.
Today I'll talk about this article.
Yes, we can find vending machines everywhere in Japan. And actually they sell hot and cold beverages, however in summer most of vending machines are modified to the summer specification. It means, it's sometimes difficult to find something "hot" in vending machines. (I prefer to drink something hot even in summer, so I've sometimes experienced it.)
And the number of vending machines selling cigarettes is decreasing. Because the rule to buy cigarettes got strict. we can't buy cigarettes without special card called "taspo". Yuki smokes, but he doesn't have the card, so he usually buy cigarettes at a convenience store. It might be good to have strengthen the law. higher prices of cigarettes and inconvenience of purchase brought him to less smoke. On the other hand one of kids' assistant jobs for fathers disappeared -- to go buy cigarettes instead of their fathers.
Well, well, I don't live in a big city like Tokyo, but this Utsunomiya city is not in rural area.
However it is surrounded by famer area. So sometimes I see some vending machines which sell eggs and some vegetables which are tolerant of heat. So you might find vending machines which sell fresh lettuce in some highland regions like Nagono prefecture. Additionally Tochigi prefecture where Utsunomiya city belongs is famous for strawberries, but I've never seen vending machines which sell fresh strawberries.
And I've see vending machine which sells some clothes in inexpensive hotels which is called "business hotel" in Tokyo not "expensive" hotel. Usually in "expensive hotels" there are some brand-name shops. so in such hotels probably there aren't vending machines.
And what is the most interesting is the last sentence. I've heard of it, but I don't know how they operate. So I did a search.
The vending machines which are put in the public facilities seem to have such a function. They seem to have a special sticker with "deserter response". And when administers ask the vending machine company to let beverages free, the company's workers come and manually shift them into free.
When I find the sticker, I'll update this blog.