Japanese economic theory states that when the supply of a good fails to meet demand due to inadequate distribution infrastructure, that deficiency will be compensated for with a vending machine.
This can be seen in practice in areas of rural Japan where there may not be 24-hour convenience stores on every block like in larger towns and cities.
For example, your reporter is from a small town in Shimane prefecture known as Higashiizumo (or at least it was known as that until it was dissolved in a merger with Matsue city last year). Here, there is an egg vending machine that has been lovingly used by the locals since time immemorial.
While you city-slickers are used to being able to run across the street to 7-11 to buy a pack of eggs at 1:00am every time you get the craving for some late-night ramen, many places like my hometown never had the population or infrastructure to justify a 24-hour convenience store (though we finally got one recently!).
Instead, we relied on the local egg vending machine.
Operating the machine is simple enough: you put your coins in the slot and push a button. However, for obvious reasons, the eggs aren’t pushed over the shelf into a drop compartment like normal beverage or snack vending machines. Instead, each carton of eggs are places in individual compartments with plastic doors that pop open when you push the button.
The vending machine is separated by sizes small (200 yen) and medium (400 yen), though “medium” is just 2 of the small 10 egg packs in one compartment.
200 yen (US $2.52) for 10 eggs may be on the slightly expensive side for eggs, but they’re of a trusted brand and worth every yen.
No matter where you are, no matter who you’re with, sometimes you just want to eat eggs. I hope to see more egg vending machines installed in public places like train platforms and airport lobbies in the future.
Photos & Video：Rocketnews24
▼ Review the following video for further instruction on how to operate the egg vending machine
▼ Don’t be deceived by the distribution method: these eggs are fresh!
▼ The same eggs you get at the supermarket!
▼ ”Welcome! Thank you for your patronage.”
▼ There are even plastic bags set out for customers’ convenience!
[ Read in Japanese ]