Totally TOKYO 2: The VENDOlution
Welcome to Day 2 of Totally TOKYO here on DDOA! Today we look into VENDOlution–evolution of the VENDO (vending machine) in Tokyo.
The Vendo Cashier
Photo by P.Constancia
This is one that I find fascinating, there are many Ramen Houses in Tokyo that do not handle cash at all. Outside the restaurant there is a vending machine that serves as a Cashier. You press the item you want, pay and it gives you a printed ticket. You then give it to the person at the counter who instructs the cook. You stand or sit (if you’re lucky to grab one of the few chairs in this type of restaurant) and wait till your order is ready. The same person who took your ticket will call you to collect your food at the counter. And then 食べるTABERU!
As you can see there’s very likely no reason for you to ask for any assistance once you’ve collected your order – everything is provided on your table, including a wipecloth for cleaning your table after you’ve enjoyed your meal. Tidy Habits…very Tokyo, very Japanese… and very different from Singapore where we are currently residing.
Here’s More on Tokyo VENDOlution!!!
Just as I was about done with this post, a sudden curiosity hit me to check what would come out if I searched the internet for “Tokyo’s Strangest Vending Machines” and wow, what wonderful things I discovered…For example, the touch screen vendo that I took a photo of below is actually called ‘Next Generation’ vending machines. And here’s how they are described in this article: “These imposing monoliths come with a large touch panel screen that displays all of the items available. Not only that: they also have a sensor to determine the age and gender of the customer, which is used together with other information, such as the temperature or time, to target recommendations to each particular person. If you didn’t know what you wanted to drink, you will now…” Read more on timeout.jp
The Touch Screen Vendo
also known as “Next Generation” vending machines
JR Line Station, Tokyo
All you have to do is touch the image of the item of your choice, and it’ll give you instructions on price and availability. When we used this product dispensing machine, we weren’t really aware of its capabilities. As you can see I lifted my son to touch his selection on the screen..so I guess with its special sensor, the machine knew my son’s age & gender and was ready to make some product recommendations..far out!!! Or should I say it’s so far from my imagination that this is bound to be a standard format for vendos in the world in the very near.
Here are a couple more examples…
“Quick, easy to peel, minimal mess – the banana is one of the most convenient fruits around. So there was a certain sense of inevitability when Dole Japan unveiled the nation’s first banana vending machine last year. The machine sells Dole’s signature Bobby bananas, prized for their refreshing sweetness and light aftertaste, which are maintained at a steady temperature of 13 degrees and dispensed via conveyer belt to stop them getting damaged. Dole plans to put more of these machines in gyms, schools and office buildings in the near future…” Info from timeout.jp
“4inch T-shirt company occupies an unusual niche in the fashion market: they specialize in selling T-shirts from vending machines, with designs tailored according to the location in which they’re sold. The company’s machines in front of the Disk Union and Recofan shops in Shimokitazawa feature designs by a range of artists, including Naoki Urasawa, Lily Franky and Keiichi Sokabe. In a nod to local concerns, all of them incorporate messages of support for Save the Shimokita, a grassroots campaign opposing the planned redevelopment of the area…” Info from timeout.jp
SEE more on Tokyo’s strangest vending machines:
10 vended things to make you go hmmm…