Monday, June 22, 2009

Vending Machines revisited

I've written about vending machines in Japan before, and Bartman905 recently posted a good article on them in his blog, too. But, it's time to add even further to the "Japanese VM lexicon".

First I'll re-display my egg vender here. Fresh eggs, in Fuchu. Right off the farm (or rather, right out of the banks of chicken coops lining the guy's backyard).

Next, the newspaper venders. Technically, these are little different than the magazine machines, or a newspaper box. I've never actually seen papers in this machine during the 6 months it's been on the platform.

Note the "Petit Mall" on the left. Dispenses candies, snacks and cookies. Doesn't dispense potato chips. My theory is that foods that you eat with your fingers, like chips, are not popular because people know that their hands are dirty and they don't want to touch their foods until after they get home and can wash off first.

Finally, we have the rice venders. First, the old style machine. I found this one in Takao last week when I went out there on my bike again. The machine is in front of a small mom-and-pop shop that specializes in selling 1, 2, 5 and 10 kg bags of rice. It's an older machine, and the empty bags in the display windows have curled over and faded with age. Presumably the rice being dispensed from the machine has been restocked recently. The instructions are to insert four 1000 yen bills and to press the button. I'm assuming that the machine doesn't take coins and doesn't give change for 5000 yen and 10,000 yen bills. Since it's right next to the shop itself, I guess the machine is out there for customers that need to buy rice for emergencies at 2 AM.

Here, we have a bank of 6 different brands of rice. You put your money in the slot in the machine in the center and select the brand that you want. Then, walk over to the selected machine and take your 5 or 10 kg (12 or 25 pound) bag of rice from the hopper at the bottom.

Close-up of the machines.

Next door, we have the dehusker. Rice when bagged with the hulls on is called "genmai". Genmai is considered healthier than hulled rice, but people still take it home and wash the hulls off themselves. This is inconvenient if you have a small apartment, or if you have to clean a lot of rice before every meal (i.e. - for large families).

Instead, just pay a couple hundred yen, pour your rice in the hopper to the right, and put a sack under the dispenser in the middle to collect your cleaned rice. This machine was found in Noborito, 15 miles west of Shinjuku, near the Odakyu line.


bartman905 said...

Thanks for the mention of my blog post.

I love your post on this subject as well, thanks for sharing - I haven't run into eggs or rice yet, but I'll keep my eyes open (and camera ready)!

Maria alyane Wahing said...

where can we find a rice vending machine that can be imported?