Buyers can skip the lines with souvenir vending machines
Japanese vending machines dispense everything from pizza to cigarettes and edible insects. Now there are even ones where you can buy Olympics souvenirs.
TOKYO: Japanese vending machines dispense everything from pizza to cigarettes and edible insects. Now there are even ones where you can buy Olympics souvenirs.
At the official merchandise store in the Tokyo Olympics' media centre, a row of vending machines stands, ready to serve curious shoppers.
With just a few touches on an interactive screen, customers can purchase mugs, tote bags, sunglasses and traditional "daruma" dolls, which symbolise luck and perseverance, all emblazoned with the Olympics and Paralympic logos.
"It's neat," said John Einarson, a production crew member with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, after purchasing two mugs. "Press a button and out come the goods, and off you go."
Lunch hour at the media centre saw a small group of people clustered around one machine, as a line of shoppers already extended out the door of the merchandise stores.
"I think it is very accessible," said Seo Junghyun, a crew member supporting the International Broadcast Centre. "People have to queue if they want to go into the store but they can quickly grab what they need here. I think it is good."
(Reporting by Angie Teo; Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)