Japan is a vending machine paradise. Any time you want a hot coffee
or a cold beer
, all you have to do is peer around the corner. There it is: 24-hour-a-day stimulant
s, right at your fingertips. There are currently about 5.4 million vending machines
in Japan, about 1 for every 22 people.
Why are they so popular? One reason in that space is SO expensive. Vending machines produce more revenue per square meter of scarce land than any convenience store ever would.
Another reason is that Japan's crime rate is remarkably low. Sometimes a vending machine will hold 80 000 yen (800+ US dollars) in cash in isolated areas where alarm systems are useless yet STILL no enterprising thief takes the bait. North Americans soft drink manufacturers would not even THINK of putting a machine in such a stand-alone location.