Vending machines come in all shapes and sizes, and seem to sell everything from books to snacks, drinks, used panties and more.
But how about a vending machine that lets you have a private dance with an idol?
For one day only, Shibuya’s Marui City will let fans do just that.
It’s being organized by Ezaki-Glico, one of Japan’s biggest sweets makers, and especially as a promo for their long-standing Seventeen ice cream brand. While it is common to see Seventeen vending machines all over Tokyo, this is a whole new kind of experience.
The idol in question is a newbie, Ayami Muto, who is making her debut this spring.
On April 26th, brand ambassador Ayami Muto will be dancing on a big display on the Seventeen Ice Original Vending Machine, which changes depending on the flavor of Seventeen ice cream you choose. Ayami’s costume colors will also be different in each video to match the flavors, of which there are, not surprisingly, seventeen.
Dancers will have their movements digitally regenerated as computer graphics, to be put together later as a special animated video. If you dance correctly matching Ayami’s choreography then you can get yourself a complimentary ice cream — perfect as the weather turns hotter.
Vending machine boffins will probably have already spotted that this ice cream idol vendor is very similar to the Dance Dance Revolution vending machine from Coca-Cola that was a big hit in Korea in 2012.
Dancing with Ayami is free and Ayami herself is expecting to turn up in Shibuya as well at around 14:00, though we expect a dance with the physical idol might be asking too much.
Check out the vending machine from 11:00 to 19:00.
One of those myths about Japan is the used panties vending machine. Well, these blogger at least has heard of genuine panty vending machines (at least the machines were real, though we can’t vouch for the validity of the “used” factor) but at any rate, they were very much in areas of town not visited by most of the population.
Now this may well do something to off-set the myth — or it might just tip the balance further into the “wacky Japan” zone.
Wacoal, one of the country’s leading lingerie makers, will be offering products from the wireless bra series Fun Fun Week by its subsidiary une nana cool for a limited time in Shibuya Parco. Okay, nothing new there, right? Except that the new autumn collection products are being sold via a vending machine.
So there you have it. A bra-dispensing vending machine.
You can purchase your bras at the vending machine from August 9th to 31st at Shibuya Parco, and then from September 1st to 30th at the une nana cool store in Futako-Tamagawa.
No decent pictures are available of the vending machine itself yet, but no doubt after it opens today there will be some floating around. Will this perpetuate more myths? Or are une nana cool bras cute enough to raise above the sniggering tide?
Jins, one of Japan’s big spectacles sellers, set up the country’s (the world’s?) first vending machine for glasses earlier this year in July.
The first ones were in Tokyo Bay and three other rather lackluster spots, namely Aeon malls in the ‘burbs.
They have since announced they are planning a further fifty locations, including now at Kansai Airport.
It’s not just a pop-in-your-coins kind of vendor either. This is a “next generation vending machine” (okay, these are often trumpeted but perhaps there is more than one generation round the corner?) and has a flashy name, the Jins Self Shop.
It is complete with touch panels and can go online to manage its stock. It even takes credit cards, a rarity in cash-happy Japan.
This is nice, since you see a lot of different kinds of things being sold from machines in Japan (bananas, batteries, canned coffee) but, except for prototypes and the occasional super energy-zapping hi-tech one, most are actually pretty low-fi. The novelty of the purchase is often the selling point.
Glasses in Japan are not your usual kettle of fish.
Jins and its main rival Zoff both run big ad campaigns and target young consumers. Jins uses Yu Aoi while Zoff has the equally lovely Kiko Mizuhara, plus they indulge in fancy augmented reality “digital glasses” projects from time to time too. Both chains also have large stores in Harajuku.
We’ve always liked how almost all regular spectacles stores will usually have a little cleaning spray machine set up outside, so as you pass by you can give your specs a rinse. Especially useful in the humid summer!