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18 Odd Items for Sale in Japanese Vending Machines

Japan seems to have a yen for selling unusual products via vending

machine -- they sell more than any other country. Aside from the usual candy, gum, and cigarettes, here are some of the more obscure items available for purchase in Japanese vending machines.

1. Fresh eggs

2. Bags of rice in various sizes

3. Fishing line, fish hooks, and fish bait

4. Toilet paper in small packets -- most public restrooms in Japan charge a fee for toilet paper

5. Fresh flowers

6. Frequent flyer miles -- Japan Air Lines (JAL) has a machine that reads a credit card and boarding pass and issues frequent flyer miles

7. Beer in cans or two-liter jugs

8. Film and disposable cameras

9. Pornographic magazines

10. Designer condoms

11. Batteries

12. Live rhinoceros beetles -- a popular pet for Japanese children

13. Kerosene -- for home space heaters

14. Dry ice -- sold at supermarkets for keeping frozen food cold until the customer gets home

15. Sake in preheated containers

16. Cups of hot noodles

17. Fortunes -- found at shrines and temples

18. Umbrellas -- for both rain and shade

Ready for more lists?  See the Extraordinary Lists page.


Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen