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英語でニッポンをフカボリ! DID YOU KNOW…?『自動販売機』


まずはKey Words & Phrasesから。


vending machine(自動販売機)  


become widely used(普及する)
per capita(一人当たりの)
in the recent past(近年になって)
make an appearance(登場する・出現する)
wide range of X from…to ~(・・・から~まで様々なX)
as a matter of course(当然のことながら) 
private property(私有地)


Did you know that Japan has the largest number of vending machines per capita?

・The first-ever vending machine in the world is believed to have been invented in Egypt around the 2nd century B.C, and they became widely used in many countries after the late 18th century.
・In Japan, the first vending machine appeared in the early 19th century, started to grow popular in the 1960s and they are literally everywhere in the country now. Although the number of machines installed is bigger in the U.S, Japan has the largest number of vending machines per capita.
・In the recent past, touch-screen type of vending machines made an appearance in addition to existing coin-operated ones.
・What is more, Japanese vending machines sell a wide range of goods from common products such as drinks to unique and unusual items.
・It is safe to say that vending machines are an essential part of the Japanese society and culture.

3 Questions for Digging Deeper! 《 もっと掘り下げてみよう! 》

1. Where and how many vending machines are in Japan?

According to certain statistics, the number of vending machines nationwide is approximately 5 million, and that means there is one machine per every 24 people of the population. As for the location, vending machines are installed everywhere in the cities, streets, hotels, offices and even in front of individual houses. It is not unusual to see vending machines placed in private property.

2. What goods are sold in the vending machine?

As a matter of course, common items such as drinks and snacks are available, and in addition to that, unusual goods including fresh fruits, vegetables, cup noodles provided with hot water, umbrellas and surgical masks are sold in some machines. The uniqueness of Japanese vending machines are well known among visitors from overseas, and some travelers enjoy touring those unique vending machines during their stay in Japan.

3. Why did vending machines become widely popular in Japan?

One possible reason is that because the society is safe and well maintained. As a vending machine is an unattended service, it is not so easy to place them in some countries due to unsafety. However, it is not so hard to place vending machines in Japan, as there’s not much crime such as vandalism and theft.



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