Japan is crazy about vending machines.
Many models are shown below.
These contain mostly drinks, but in some areas hot + cold meals, and even T-shirts or electronics.
Drinks range from 100¥ – 200¥ and many of them are quite good, such as BOSS Coffee, shown below, CC Lemon, and lots of teas. Some also feature the usual western soft drinks – although most western soft drinks are not as popular in Japan as they are in the west.
You will find these machines on virtually every corner or shopping complex. Some take only coins, some take bills also, and newer ones also aceept the Japaneese train system’s IC card – Suica. The light green machine in the photo in the lower right corner below is one such Suica machine at a train station. To pay for a drink using Suica, just slap your Suica card on the IC card reader and you’re good to go.
If you have an NFC-F enabled smart phone, and have loaded a Suica app onto it, you can also trigger the machine’s Suica reader simply by holding your phone up to it. Note that some western phones won’t work with Suica readers since they use NFC and not the Japanese-specific NFC-J standard. If you use an iPhone you’ll need an iPhone 8 or later and the Suica app to use Suica on the readers. You can also use an Apple Watch Series 3 or later on the readers if your phone has Suica added to Apple Wallet, and Bluetooth is enabled on your Apple Watch.
In some stations there are new electronic models which don’t show the bottles themselves, but only an LCD image of them.
To use them, put your money in the top, select the small black button under the drink you want, and the drink will come out the slot at the bottom.
On a hot summer day, these are life-savers: if you’re walking a lot, you’ll also be sweating profusely and will dehydrate very quickly.
Sometimes you’ll find mega-banks of them in a row – 4-10 machines all lined up.
Suica-enabled vending machine in green, lower right. The IC card reader is the small oval in the center.
Suica-enabled vending machine at the Narita International Aiport waiting lobby.
A Good Vending/Happy Price machine, also in Itabashi. Note all drinks are 100¥ (approx. $1 USD).
Vending machine bank on a corner in Toranomon.
Modern all-electronic “acure” model at Ueno Station. Also note the small recycling slots on the right.
Name: Glitch Coffee
Location: 35°41’37.16″ N 139°45’40.90″ E
Hours: 8 PM weekdays, 7 PM weekends
Just 2 blocks northeast of the Imperial Palace, in south Kanda/Jimbocho, in a bldg. without so much as a sign is the very cool Glitch Cofee & Roasters. This is a very hip little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop with some premium varieties of coffee. Well worth a stop-in. To get here, take the Tozai line to Takebashi Station (T08 – 35°41’21.44″ N 139°45’40.89″ E), and walk north on Rt. 301 for a few blocks. You will pass a small street on the left with a 7-11 on the corner. Just down this street to the left happens to be 9 Hours Otemachi – a small modern capsule hotel, which is quite inexpensive.
Inside the somewhat Soviet-feeling Takebashi Sta.
Rt. 301 facing north on the left side of the street. 9 Hours Otemachi is to the left, Glitch Coffee is up on the right 2 blocks. Further up on the left side of the street is a Yamato Transport luggage delivery service.
Inside 9 Hours Otemachi.
You can also get there by getting off at Jimbocho Station (Z07) which is about 10 mins to the northwest if you take the Hanzomon Line instead, although it’s a bit of a longer walk than from Takebashi Sta. The Hanzomon Line also has the advantage of being 1 stop from Otemachi Sta. which shoots you right in near Maronuchi and Tokyo Station. Hanzomon can also take you out to Sky Tree/Oshiagé to the east quickly as well.
If you continue up 301, 2 more blocks on the right is Glitch Coffee. This is just before the main cross-street of Rt. 401, which if you head west (left) leads to Tokyo Dome, and if you turn right (east), leads to the WATERAAS complex, and beyond that, Akihabara.
Glitch Coffee, in south Kanda/Jimbocho – 2 blocks northeast of the Imperial Palace. The shop is on the east side of the street. This is facing southeast towards Tokyo Sta. There is no sign, except on the doors.
There are also other Glitches in Akasaka and Nagoya.
Of interesting note is the the fact that if you continue north past Glitch, in a block or two you’ll come to Rt. 302 (Yasukuni Dori), which runs east to west. This is a major street which has lots of sporting goods stores. There is a SuperSports Xebio store right across the street, as well as lots of ski + snowboard shops along the street. If you continue east on 302 for several blocks, you’ll come to Rt. 405 (Sotobori Dori), which, if you turn north (left) onto, will take you the WATERRAS complex, which is worth checking out, and which has a very nice Olympic Grocery store + Mister Donut in it. You can enjoy a nice stroll up and down these streets for all kinds of shops and cafés.
Less than a mile east of that is Akihabara.
As a footnote, Meiji University is nearby and has an excellent museum. John Daub of Only in Japan on YouTube has a video walk from Akihabara to Meiji below.
5 MIN WALK FROM JINBOCHO STATION EXIT 7, 2 MIN WALK FROM JINBOCHO STATION EXIT 9
Name: Keio Department Store
Location: 35°41’23.41″ N 139°41’57.25″ E
Just to the southwest of JR Shinjuku Station in Tokyo is the Keio Department Store, or as they would say in Japan Keio Depato.
This is one of the best depatos in Tokyo – in particular for its spectacular food + gift basement (Deepikcha). The gifts sold here are extremely high quality, and affordable.
There are a myriad of other stores in the building, as well as a restaurant floor, and open-air court on the top. There is also access to Shinjuku Station directly at the entrance.
To get here, take a JR line or subway to Shinjuku Station, or walk or bike. Get to the southwest side of the station, and pop in under the first blue awning shown below under the red sign.
The area is shown clearly in YouTuber Walk In Japan‘s video:
That video also shows how to walk to a small town called Nakano just to the west.
Also of interest just to the west 2 blocks is the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, which is well worth a look, and just beyond that to the west is The Toyko Metro Gov’t Bldg., which has one of the best free observatories in Japan.
Also just to the north of Keio is the Odakyu Depato. and Bic Camera – and a host of other interesting shops including 2 nice pancake shops on the top floor or Odakyu. Well worth a look.
The Keio food basement has lots of delectable delights, such as these pie-sized cookies.
Odakyu Depato is the orange bldg., center as seen from Shinjuku Station platform. The Morri Cocoon Bldg. is just to the left.
Walkway between ODAKYU HALC and Keio. Facing north. Bic Camera is on the right. One of the best photo spots in Tokyo is straight ahead on this walkway, in front of the green sign on the right.
Mode Gakuen “Cocoon” Bldg. 2 blocks to the northwest of Keio.