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The 13 Weirdest Items In Tokyo Vending Machines Ranked From Worst To Best

We made it our singular mission in Tokyo to sample and rank every strange thing we came across in a vending machine. It was a lot of things!

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Tokyo is a land of strange and magical vending machines.

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According to Japan's National Tourism Organization there are 5.52 million vending machines in the country, totaling 6.95 trillion Yen (62 billion dollars) in sales.

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We spent two weeks in Tokyo, following every lead we could find to sample the finest, most interesting vending machines in the city. Here is what we discovered, ranked from most unpleasant to most awesome.

This was awful!

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It was just really unpleasant to taste and eat! If you want to get a sense of what this tastes like, make yourself a basic black bean soup, add about two pounds of sugar, heat it up (yes, this came out of the machine hot!) and then pour it into a soda can.

These were bad as well.

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Also, they are not fun to buy. It's awkward to purchase them in front of other human people, and they're 1,000 yen (8 dollars) each, which would be a steal for a new pair of ladies' underpants, but is just too high of a price to pay for used ladies' underpants.

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... but there was no spaghetti in the can, just tomato slurry. It was not very nice.

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Unfortunately, it was not very nice.

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We couldn't read the ingredients but both of us are vegetarians and one of us is very, very allergic to fish, so we didn't do a huge amount of tasting of this product after our initial survey.

Without question, the coolest and most stylish camouflage watch either of us have ever gotten out of a vending machine.

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Some of the vending machines we found were deliberately mysterious. You just had to trust them and give them money and they would give you some kind of treat like an analog watch that would be invisible in a jungle.

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Natto is a product that is made by fermenting soybeans with something called Bacillus subtilis.

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This makes it real stringy and gloopy and intense to smell! All of our Japanese colleagues described it as an "acquired taste."

One of the mystery machines gave us these VERY cool and trendy green earbuds!

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It was a nice mystery surprise and felt like a very generous thing for a machine to give us.

But then this Japanese YouTube star (?) approached us and said it was his birthday and he was trying to trade up to eventually get a Lamborghini, so we (reluctantly) traded the ear buds for this white chocolate.

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We figured this was in the service of the greater good of advancing international diplomacy and also helping fellow ~content creators~ who were just trying to make some killer content.

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One of the vending machines sold us this neatly packed box of miniature toys shaped like food and utensils.

The box of delights also incongruously had some maraschino cherries!

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They weren't very nice, but it's very much the thought that counts with this sort of thing.

We just weren't expecting this to be warm. It's so, so surprising when you get what you think is going to be a soda from a vending machine and instead it is warm corn chowder.

This was the final thing we got from the "mystery" vending machine and it was also the best.

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She is from a popular manga series called Cardcaptor Sakura, which is about some tweens who accidentally release magical cards created by a sorcerer and have to try and get them back. This is Tomoyo Daidouji, who is the wealthy best friend of the main character.

Who is Beard Papa and why does his cream-puff-flavored soda taste so damn good?!

The world may never find out. But Beard Papa knows exactly what he's doing.

It's just unbelievably refreshing after a hard day of looking for weird things in vending machines, and it makes everything better.

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It's frankly embarrassing that we don't sell delicious beer in vending machines here in the U.S. You would think that our Founding Fathers would have figured that one out if they were as smart as everyone says they were.

Anyway, those are all the cool things we found in Tokyo's amazing vending machines. Thanks, Tokyo!

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