In Japan, vending machines are everywhere – Japan is probably the safest place in the world so there is almost no danger of these machines being vandalized. When you’re thirsty you can count on one being there most of the time. To stay hydrated in this hot and humid weather, our vending machine budget was probably close to $10 a day each, $1 to $1.50 per bottle of water or sports drink. The vending machines will take coins or 1,000 yen ($10) bills and have a variety of drinks, water, sports drink, canned coffee, soda, green tea, and oolong tea. My favorite was Aquarius Freestyle, a carbonated sports drink.
To combat underage smoking, cigarette vending machines require the Taspo smart card. The Taspo card verifies the user is at least 20. The card can also be used to pay for the cigarette.
In Tokyo, some vending machines will take a Suica smart card for payment, especially at train stations. Most convienent stores will take a Suica card for payment. One of the best uses of the Suica smart card, which is typically used for train, subways, and buses are for lockers. Your Suica card is not only used to pay for the locker but also serves as the key – it will print out a receipt with a keycode in case you lost your Suica card. Many cellphones in Japan, except the iPhone, have a Suica smart card build into them.