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These Vending Machines Sell LOVE in Japan!

These Vending Machines Sell LOVE in Japan!

The invariable excitement of vending machines in Japan is something many people cannot truly get over. Whether you’re visiting for a few weeks or have lived there for a few years, the sight of rows of brightly lit vending machines will always bring joy to the heart.

An Intro to Vending Machines in Japan

Refreshing Pocari Sweat, warm corn soup, hot coffee, and cold tea – all these wonderful items are available throughout Japan via its thousands of drink vending machines.

Over the last few years, however, the spotlight has been shone on some arguably hilarious and head-scratching vending machines located around various parts of Japan that sell items other than drinks. For example, why head to the supermarket when you can purchase a fresh banana from a vending machine at the station to work?

Forgot to make dashi stock for tonight’s dinner? No problem, there are dashi stock vending machines sprinkled throughout Tokyo, complete with the whole fish!

Tucked away in a little unknown street in Tokyo is yet another vending machine that makes ‘homemade’ burgers for only a 100-yen coin!

All the aforementioned, whilst they may not be something you purchase every day, all seemingly make sense, especially if you’re in a rush and need something quick and easy to grab! That’s Japan for you – convenience is key.

A Love Machine

One vending machine that has started making waves recently is the one tucked away in Tokyo’s Kamata neighborhood. Fronted by a smaller drink vending machine which sells drinks at half the price of regular vending machines (super cheap as it is!), this one is highly unusual in that it sells what most people long for: love!

Now you’re probably scratching your head like, “But…how?” Well, technically you’re looking at a vending machine that sells the notion of a potential romantic partner for you! How it works is that there are colored cans representing each gender: pink cans for women and beige cans for men. You’ll find the name of the individual on the can as well as their age and their contact number.

Sounds pretty forthright, doesn’t it? Well, there’s a bit more to the plot than it seems!

How Can This Work?

The company that developed this vending machine dating idea is Matching Advisor Press (MAP), a matchmaking service for singles who are actively looking for a serious relationship that will hopefully lead to marriage.

Whilst you may believe that you’re simply purchasing the number for the individual you’re interested in, there are a few things that need to happen beforehand.

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The can itself will cost around 3,000 yen to purchase upfront. This is where the details get a little murky. Each can also comes with an accompanying MAP advisor’s details. Once you purchase the can, it’s possible that you will have a one-hour ‘interview’ with the MAP advisor before you can even get a chance to speak to the individual.

This actually makes a lot of sense, as the advisor can gauge during that time whether or not you and the other individual will be a compatible match. If this interview session is deemed successful, the MAP advisor will then organize a three-hour dinner date for the two of you. This will cost an additional 9,000-yen service fee to MAP, with the rest of the dinner costs to be fronted by you.

However, as the service is yet to start (it’s believed to have a March 2022 start date of operation!), the process is still unclear and not yet finalized.

It may be that the interview process is a three-way conversation between yourself, the advisor, and the actual individual on the can. It’s also unclear as to whether or not you will get additional assistance from the MAP advisor if you’re deemed not compatible, and if so, whether there are any extra costs on top.

Another thing to note is that, if it happens that you and the individual fall in love, and end up getting married, a fee of 300,000 yen is to be paid to MAP as a “successful marriage award payment”. When you add up all the costs, it seems quite expensive, but we’re guessing the (potential) lifelong happiness afterward is worth it!

As of the time of writing, the vending machine itself is marked as “sold out!”, with a sign saying that the cans won’t be in operation until March 1. Keep an eye out if you’re single and ready to mingle!

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