Most Interesting Vending Machines in Kansai

ByJustin Hanus
Apr 19, 2021

Most Interesting Vending Machines in Kansai

One fascinating facet of Japanese culture is the prevalence of vending machines. Virtually anywhere you go, you’ll find them — many offering products you’d never see in the vending machines of your home country. Kansai is no exception to this phenomenon.

Gacha Toys

A few years ago, gacha toy vending machines came to Terminal 2 in Kansai International Airport. The vending machines allow you to assemble your own capsule toy by following a video (there are instructions in multiple languages). It’s a great way to make a souvenir before you head home.


If you’re out and about and it starts raining without warning, there’s nothing more useful than an umbrella vending machine. It’s actually surprising that these don’t exist everywhere. In Nishi Ward, Osaka, you can even pick up a free rental umbrella from one of several vending machines owned by DyDo (a beverage company). Once you’ve finished with the umbrella, you’re asked to return it to the vending machine for others to use.

Alcoholic Drinks

The challenge of an alcohol vending machine is, of course, the age restriction. To make sure only consumers who are legally allowed to purchase alcohol using the machines, special ID card readers are attached. In fact, this technology is so widespread that you’ll find these vending machines all over Kansai.

Cartons of Eggs

A poultry farm in Osaka near Deto Station sells some of its produce through an egg vending machine. Don’t worry — the eggs won’t crack. After you pay, a door opens, and you remove your carton.

Printer Ink

There’s a vending machine in Den Den Town, Osaka, that, at first glance, appears to be a cigarette vending machine. Look closer, and you’ll see it has since been transformed into a printer ink cartridge vending machine for those printer ink emergencies.


A type of soup stock, dashi is an essential ingredient for many Japanese dishes. You can pick some up from the vending machine in Osaka near Korien Station if you run out.


Usually, the appeal of vending machines is that you see what’s inside and can’t resist. Not so with the surprise vending machines near Osaka Central Wholesale Market. The set of vending machines are priced at 10 yen and 50 yen. Most give you drinks, but some also have treats like candy. Whereas most of the machines are complete mysteries (you have no idea what they contain), others have a transparent front, meaning you can see the options, but the product you receive will be random.

Often, these vending machines give you a much better deal than if you purchased the product at a store (or from a regular vending machine). The product often costs much less than what you’d normally pay, although there’s always the risk you’ll receive something you don’t like!

The pricing of the items is what it is; the vending machines located here are owned by a wholesaler who uses them to sell products with damaged packaging and items that are nearing their expiration date, so you know.

So while you are spending your time in Kansai, stay on the lookout for these vending machines. They’re a great way to use up some of the change that’s burning a hole in your pocket.

Kyle Hasegawa, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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