Why Japan has so many vending machines

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  • Published on:  Sunday, June 4, 2017
  • What vending machines can teach you about this countrySubscribe to the Vox Borders newsletter for weekly updates: http://www.vox.com/borders-emailFollow Johnny for more photos and videos from his travels around the globe. Facebook: https://goo.gl/l0x5cA Instagram: https://goo.gl/CduwlOWhile in Japan I noticed vending machines everywhere. Looking into it a little deeper a discovered that there's a very interesting answer to why Japan has so many vending machines. It's an economic story but it's also a story about how Japanese society values robotics and automation. I even found a business card vending machine: https://youtu.be/Ogb7FyzQhbkVox Borders is a new international series focused on telling the human stories that emerge from lines on the map. Johnny will travel to six border locations to produce a final set of documentaries. While he travels he'll release dispatches on YouTube and Facebook documenting his experiences. Learn more: http://www.vox.com/borders-dispatchVox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjOCheck out our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyEFollow Vox on Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5HOr on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o


  • Vox
    Vox  2 years ago +1116

    Hey everyone: this dispatch video is part of the Vox Borders project. I'm visiting six places around the world to investigate the human impact of borders, and those six videos will be released in fall 2017. In the meantime I'm making these vlog style shorts.
    If you want to follow my travels, the best way to do it is following my FB page: www.facebook.com/johnnyharrisvox
    and signing up for the newsletter at www.vox.com/borders-email. I'll be asking for video ideas, feedback on the project, and answering questions as it unfolds.

  • Fernando Aguilera
    Fernando Aguilera  2 years ago +13650

    I hope someday he gets wherever he's going in these videos.

  • Mr Moustache
    Mr Moustache  a years ago +784

    And legend says he still walks

  • Yolo Swaggins
    Yolo Swaggins  3 months ago +843

    Vending machines are pretty lit for antisocial people.

  • Jeremy
    Jeremy  3 months ago +221

    I love these videos, but this was some pretty lackluster journalism, bordering on mere speculation. For every point you made, there is an extremely obvious contradiction. Like the fact that there are literally multiple convenience stores (staffed with at least 2 people 24/7) on every street, so vending machines are clearly not replacing cashiers. And you don’t even mention the history of Japanese vending machines and how demand for them grew over time. Or how the Japanese engineered them to become thinner and thinner. This could have been much more thorough.

  • capnrojos
    capnrojos  a years ago +1743

    If you re-watch the video you will notice people in the background suddenly aware (and not very happy) that he is filming. Or people turn around to show their backs or block their faces. It is very well known that despite their love of tech and advancements in conveniences, the Japanese people are fiercely private and prefer (overwhelmingly) to not be filmed. It is considered bad etiquette to take still photos or film people without asking. So, this guerilla walk-the-streets style is really a westernized trend and not terribly welcome in Japan. If you visit yourself, please ask politely if you'd like to take a picture or video. Also, on the whole, filming in shops is not allowed and actually illegal in Tokyo. Many prefectures have laws against public filming. Word to the wise.

  • Asdif
    Asdif  2 years ago +2247

    That chopstick store is like the real life version of the harry potter magic wand store

  • Prussian explainer, Bram
    Prussian explainer, Bram  1 months ago +142

    Who came here from nobita's channel to diss Vox?

  • Edd VCR
    Edd VCR  3 months ago +93

    As a Japanese person I will just say that most of the information is wrong and this person doesn’t understand the social economic and cultural nuances.
    Vending machines have been everywhere even before the decline in birth rate, and these are just observations a dude made as a westerner looking at these “strange” people and how they live, unfortunately told as facts when they’re not.

  • Cruze Schnecke
    Cruze Schnecke  2 months ago +119

    Information is not correct. I am Japanese over 50 years old, but vending machines have been in various places for over 40 years.

  • Kunst Wunderkammer
    Kunst Wunderkammer  2 months ago +25

    I must say this as a person who lives in Tokyo. This is definitely the most DISAPPOINTING video I have ever seen explaining about Japan.

  • Charisse Lambert
    Charisse Lambert  a years ago +2094

    He hit on some good points, but when I lived in Japan, the Japanese people told me that they can have vending machines because vandalism is rare. In the U.S. vending machines can't be everywhere because they can and are easily vandalized.

  • Date Masamune
    Date Masamune  1 months ago +37

    This guy is a total turn off. Talkin big no knowledge at all.

  • Gabriel Campos
    Gabriel Campos  1 months ago +110

    This video is so wrong. It's sad.

  • Phil Nolan
    Phil Nolan  1 months ago +27

    This video is largely incorrect. It really seems like it's just pandering to the weeaboo audience and spreading untrue rumors. Like the super tiny apartments, yes they exist but they're not really common. I spent 2 weeks in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and more) and never saw one of those restaurants with the tickets. It's true that they are mainly cash based. However most vending machines accept IC cards, which is like a refillable gift card and it's how most people pay at vending machines. IC cards are also accepted at many stores.

  • Lordofhavoc
    Lordofhavoc  1 months ago +84

    Worst researched video ever.

  • uDunno
    uDunno  2 years ago +1267

    Japanese believe you should only spend the money you have as oppose to the debt in your credit cards. That's why cash based transactions are still the dominant form of payment.

  • Forest Han
    Forest Han  1 months ago +34

    You're wrong dude. Get your information check.

  • pdxwornath
    pdxwornath  3 months ago +36

    We could not have this many vending machines in America because they would all be destroyed within a day.

  • Goblin WarKnight
    Goblin WarKnight  1 months ago +59

    Vox, stop pushing your views on others. If you cared one bit for the country you're visiting you'd do some actual investigations as to why things are the way they are. People like me have visited Japan and love it they way it is. They don't need massive emigration to "fix" anything. That'll just destroy the nation and culture I love that is Japan.