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Many passengers buy ekiben and drinks together before they board the shinkansen. Also, it’s troublesome for them to walk to vending machines when drinks are being sold on carts.

15 Comments

A JR Tokai spokesperson, explaining the decision to remove vending machines for drinks from shinkansen trains from March 15. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

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what a informative piece

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I'm sure this has more to do with reducing carriage weight and power usage.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I use the shinkansen very often, but never bought anything from those machine. I prefer interacting with a human, more so when it is in the shape of a nice cute young Japanese lady, selling tea and bentos from a pushcart.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I always buy at conbini or even a supermarket before climbing on the shink or NEX. Too much of a rip-off on the train.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bummer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In other words: we want them to buy the (even) higher priced stuff we sell from the carts on board the train.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

In other words: we want them to buy the (even) higher priced stuff we sell from the carts on board the train.

I wonder if that's actually the case. At my station (Hakata) they have a fully-stocked, normally-priced Family Mart conbini on the platform side of the ticket-gates. Which doesn't really make sense if they're trying to get people to buy from the trolleys.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Makes sense. Can't buy Watneys in the vending machine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Translation:

Nobody was buying anything from them, so we're removing them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have never bought anything from the vending machines on a shinkansen. If I need anything to eat/drink, I get it from the passing trolley. Besides, the ride is so fast, and thus so short, I really don't have time to wine & dine during those speedy voyages.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder what they'll put in the spaces the vending machines were occupying? Any suggestions?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In more than 20 years of riding the bullet trains, I've never used one of the vending machines. I either use a platform kiosk or the trolley vendors, especially the beer pumper in summer, and the whisky and ice-cream at night!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's funny, I never even noticed those vending machines on the Shinkansen until they mentioned them in this 'brief' article. I guess they really never sold much then...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The comments here have pointed out the reason why the machines were removed. Hardly anybody was using them. If you're continually tossing product in the trash because it expires before it is sold, then the machine is under-used and it's not worth the expense of continually lugging the weight of the thing from one end of the line to the other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've seen videos on YouTube of full-length (!!) five-hour trips on the Nozomi Shinkansen train between Tokyo and Hakata Stations. The first thing you immediately notice when the train stops at any major station are the ekiben sales kiosks and a bank of drink vending machines on the station platform itself; as such, passengers can easily buy ekiben and drinks even at the last moment before getting on the train.

As such, this does not surprise me that JR Central (one of the primary operators of the trains on the Tokaido and San'yo Shinkansen lines) is removing drink vending machines from the train itself--this removes an expensive item to fix on the train.

(It should be noted when I rode the Shinkansen in 1985, the limited stop Hikari trains--which traveled all way between Tokyo and Hakata in seven hours one-way back then--often featured a staffed snack bar and sometimes even a full restaurant! Those went away during 1990's with the arrival of Nozomi service with much faster trainsets and the shortening of the Hikari service.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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