Deserved or not, Japan has long had a reputation for being the home of weird and wacky vending machines . What is not as commonly understood, however, is what Japanese people think about vending machines in other countries.
One member of Naver Matome, a popular Japanese blogging site, decided to find out. In an post titled “Vending Machines That Even Japanese People Are Surprised By ” (日本人もびびる) — which has been viewed several hundred thousand times already — vortexxx  collected a series of images posted by Japanese Twitter users.
Russia leads the pack
The first photo of a remarkable vending machine (at least from a Japanese point of view) is from Hitoki Nakagawa, the Vladivostok bureau chief for Asahi Shimbun, a well respected daily newspaper. The machine in his photo sells ultra-expensive caviar:
ウラジオストクに帰るため、モスクワのシェレメチボ空港にいます。気づいたのですが、キャビアの自動販売機が。今日は品切れでしたが高いもので20000ルーブル。今のレートでも4万円以上。猫には食べられませんが、こんな高額品をここで買うかな pic.twitter.com/fqnMrRSd6z 
— 中川仁樹 Hitoki NAKAGAWA (@HitokiNAKAGAWA) January 1, 2015 
I'm at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow on my way back to Vladivostok. And what's before me but a caviar vending machine. While it's sold out today, there is one super expensive kind worth 20,000 rubles, which based on today's exchange rate is about 40,000 yen (about US$400). While I'd never feed it to a cat, I wonder if anyone ever buys such luxury goods here.
Caviar vending machines seemed to spark interest among many Japanese social media users. Here, someone else found a machine that sold slightly cheaper products:
買わずに撮影しただけw pic.twitter.com/MBO4YIW3QG 
— 小越なつえ (@ogonatsu) September 25, 2016 
A caviar vending machine at the airport in Moscow. The cheapest variety costs 2,000 rubles, about 4,000 yen (approximately US$40). The cans are small, only 5-6 centimeters in diameter. How much for the biggest can, about ten centimeters across? I forget the price, it was too expensive. (´Д` )
I didn't buy anything, just snapped a photo.
Some Japanese travelers also noticed vending machines selling patriotic Russian kitsch:
「プーチン大統領のTシャツの自販機」 pic.twitter.com/LbtgMgZmm8 
— マルーン (@maroondqx) January 10, 2017 
As a heavy user of Sheremetyevo airport I recommend checking out the ‘President Putin T-Shirt vending machine’.
Others remarked on how practical some of the vending machines were:
ロシア…24時間スーパーの自販機で使い捨てコンタクト売ってるの便利すぎますわ… pic.twitter.com/KC2ye8wX48 
— kirin🍜 (@kirin6273) April 20, 2017 
In Russia, there's a vending machine in a 24-hour supermarket that sells contact lenses… Super useful!
The most noteworthy vending machine of all was one that sold space food:
— miki karasawa (@mikikparis) April 3, 2017 
I discovered this at the airport in Moscow. A ‘space food vending machine’ that sells borscht, beef and buckwheat soup, dried fruit kompot and other foods sold in a tube as space food for 400 rubles.
Unique vending machines in other countries
The Naver Matome blog post also collected a few Twitter posts of other vending machines around the world that Japanese travelers found interesting. One vending machine in Germany sold Lego:
LEGOの自販機だって！ドイツいいなぁ〜(*☻-☻*) pic.twitter.com/usigjHaq 
— 恵美 (@aqua__aqua) January 25, 2013 
A Lego vending machine! Germany is awesome! (*☻-☻*)
Another, in Italy, provoked pangs of hunger:
これは鬼アツ pic.twitter.com/GjnyLRvE4m 
— むんご (@ikaretamungo) March 21, 2016 
Here's a pizza vending machine in Italy! Now I want to eat pizza!
One of the most unusual vending machines, which a Japanese Twitter user observed in the United States, sells something that can only be bought in certain places in the country: pot.
— さいたま (@saitamakita) February 19, 2015 
A medical marijuana vending machine in Seattle. Prices start from $1
More vending machines from around the world can be found at Naver Matome .