Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Technological Marvels: Japanese Automation and Innovation

Lavatory Seat Buttons

Talk of automation, innovation, technological advancement and originality and this is what you will get... IF you are in Japan. I am not saying anything more, trusting the buttons and the graphics to do the rest of the talking for me.

Buttons at the side of a Lavotary seat in Japan
The lavatory seat side handle in Japan

Vending Machines

When you are in Japan, you are never too far from a ‘vending machine’. In every street, every corner of the lane, hotels and temple premises, subway station platforms, you will invariably come across such auto dispensing devices called the vending machines.

A Vending machine in Japan
A Vending machine, Japan
No matter what street you wander down in Japan,
watch out for "The Vending Machine"

A Food Vending machine, Japan
A vending machine selling packages food like noodles, etc
in Hotel Villa Fontaine Roppongi

Basically it is an automatic retailing machine. You need to choose the items from the display which you wish to buy, insert the currency, push a few buttons and out pops your purchase in a small compartment. Simple, time saving and cost effective!

A drinks and beverages Vending machine, Japan
A push button machine selling beverages

A touchscreen Vending machine, Japan
A touchscreen beverage selling Vending machine at a subway railway station

I mostly came across vending machines selling beverages and drinks like iced tea, mineral water, fruit juices and cold drinks. But there are many variations to it - for instance food items and umbrellas - although you will need some luck to hit upon them.

Fast Fact:

The first vending machine in Japan was made of wood and sold postage stamps and post cards. About 80 years ago, there were vending machines that sold sweets made by the "Glico Company". In 1967, the 100-yen coin was distributed for the first time, and vending machine sales skyrocketed overnight selling a variety of items everywhere.

50 comments:

  1. Wow. That was something so different. What a handle! Amazing. I never thought I would say this :-). And I love vending machines, Like an eager child , I always lookout for what is on display in the vending machine at office and can't resist the temptation to buy something. Wonderful Pics :-)

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  2. nice observation... cute buttons : )
    btw I voted for your earlier post ... praying you win it and get to see melbourne too!!

    Satya

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  3. I remember my husband commenting on these when he was in Japan many years ago. I also seem to remember him telling of going to a restaurant where meals came courtesy of a vending machine.

    Interesting facts about the first such machines, it's strange you mentioning it as the date of the first one was one of the questions asked in a quiz we recently attended.

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  4. There are a LOT of vending machines it would seem!! Nothing like convenience!! Another fun, interesting tour you've taken us on, Arti! Great post and photos! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. It's very interesting that you know about our machine than I.
    I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Interesting vending machines. I have to also say, that is quite a lavatory.

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  7. I saw music on that toilet button. Next it will be surfing the web while on the toilet. I can live without vending machines. Try to eat fresh. But traveling they could come in handy. Thanks for sharing. Hugs Carrie

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  8. Oh, I had to smile at the lavatory options, Arti. Even in the US, I haven't seen anything like that. We do have plenty of vending machine though.

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  9. @Arti Good morning. Just read your post. Great to read your post. Thanks.
    ~Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you and your family ~

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  10. Japan is really leading the world in technology, I still have to see that lavatory handle here :)

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  11. I remember that lavatory seat in Japan, but I dare not try the buttons even with pictures. Ahhh, one is never thirsty in Japan.

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  12. Aren't they amazing? And the Japanese continue to be innovative to this day!

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  13. cool! did you try all the buttons on the lavatory handle? :)

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  14. So interesting! I love innovation, but that's a little too much for a toilet, imho. :) Imagine if it malfunctions. Oh boy!

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  15. nice machines every where...I wonder what all they don;t sell :)

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  16. Japan is very upbeat and that fact was really great. Thanks for sharing this :)

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  17. I like the way you tell us about the ordinary and everyday (for Japan) stuff as well as the tourist places and scenery!

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  18. Cool post, Arti.
    I hear they have loos that can make noises to block out the natural noises. Yeah? :)

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  19. @Satya Yes, I did see it and I was delighted to have your vote! Thanks a lot. :-)

    @cocomino Its all thanks to google.

    @Angeli To be honest, I don't think I did. Once I tried fiddling with that music button and found myself completely lost to get it to stop. After this failed attempt of mine, I stopped playing with them fearing that I'd break the whole system down!

    @Gail Dixon That's what. I guess, that's where the true strength of Japan lies. They know to innovate and they also know how to carefully handle their innovations very well, all of them.

    @D. Nambiar They do have a music button, not sure if it is for this purpose precisely. Some novel innovations these, aren't they?

    Thank you everyone for adding value to my post. I was really impressed by all the innovations that I witnessed in Japan, all of them were novel to me -- things that I had never ever seen before. Lavatory seat handle buttons were cool and the vending machines were fun. It was only once that I got down to purchasing a juice bottle from one of the machines. And come to think of it, I wasn't thirsty. Only wanted to get the better of my curiosity.

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  20. What picturesque machines. I love Japanese innovations!

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  21. Wonderful collection of contemporary machines. I am greeting

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  22. you can't beat japan in technology ....they are just so advanced ......thankzz for sharing an interesting post :D :D

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  23. I like that buttons.. listen to music while doing your business , good one ..

    and vending machines I have used them now :)

    Bikram's

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  24. after reading this post, no denying the fact why we are still called "third world nations" :-(

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  25. Lavatory is a very important part of our lives, so it should be clean, comfortable, and efficient. Arti, you know more facts about old vending machines than I.

    Yoko

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  26. Arti,
    Once Toto Company who has produced tiles, toilets and more wrote in newspaper. A toilet is only one place to be alone for people who live in a small house with family. So they are very particular about the toilet. If it is so, toilets are part of our culture.

    Vending machines seem to be saturated in Japan! Have you seen any strange vending machines? I have heard in Tokyo there are vending machines selling ramen or oden.

    How interesting your posts are! The view from different angle and interesting discovery of Japan through your eyes! All your photos and words are fabulous!
    keiko

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  27. Nice article on Japan. Some of the Japanese technologies are way ahead of our times. We generally think of English countries when it comes to advancement, but Japan is far ahead of them.
    Thanks for sharing the photos, which clearly show how these amazing machines look. Interestingly Japanese toilets are the most hygienic ever. As far as electronics, robotics and automation is concerned Japanese are the best.

    http://sekharc.blogspot.com

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  28. Sitting at home-i now know interesting things about Japan,the vending machines look very spick & span,i wish India was as clean----thank you Arti.

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  29. Hey Arti, What technology... the buttons really seem to do all the talking ;)
    The vending machines really look cool...

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  30. Goodness me! The lavatory thingy is honestly something worth watching!! I am dying to see the system now...:))
    The vending machines are interesting too...perhaps they don't have burglaries there.
    Thanks Arti :) The pics are really really interesting! Thanks

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  31. Wow..automated vending machine? That has to be awesome..

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  32. Your post is providing good information on vending machine.
    Really delighted,Arti.

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  33. It is so interesting you devote a post to these aspects. I was also charmed by the very same things when I was in Japan.

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  34. The lavatory concept is just out of the world. And yes, no need to explain, the buttons with pics will do the talking! Hehe.. Kove the Japanese for their innovative concepts..

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  35. That toilet handle looks very confusing. I love that it has a music button!

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  36. Did you tried to use any of those ?
    We have some in Delhi but nobody uses them.
    Having coins for larger amount can make difference here.

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  37. The toilets are what really sold us on Japan technology. There really is nothing like a warm seat!

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  38. Hey, I so loved the post! of course it means that we are bringing down the dookanwala, but yeah save a lot of time and hassle!

    Do stop by my blog!! I'd love your visits & comments!

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  39. Excellent Post :-) Wondering when it'll be carried out in India

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  40. Amazing Japan . Loved it via your posts.

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  41. So much of automation and options... phew

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  42. Vending machines are common in Europe too, but the side handle of toilet is absolutely wonderful :)

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  43. Good post Arati, in India these are all dream machines :(

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  44. The toilet is unique, never seen it before.

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  45. Responding to Pranav's comment, in India they better be dream machines, can you imagine mass unemployment if we suddenly replaced our human labour with machines??

    Arti, the toilet one take the cake though!

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  46. I am 28 years old and the only vending machine I have ever used is an ATM :P .. but in India the reason why they are not kept in public is because of totally different reasons

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