Japan House London Offers Tastes of Japanese Rail Travel with Station-Style Vending Machine
From 3 July to 14 September 2023, the Shop at Japan House London offers visitors a unique Japanese rail-themed retail experience, complete with a high-tech vending machine dispensing rarely-seen railway goods and confectionery from Japan's largest passenger rail operator JR-East.
Throughout the summer of 2023, fans of Japan and its world-renowned rail services are treated to a rare experience of Japanese rail travel at Japan House London. Stepping inside a dedicated rail-themed booth complete with model shinkansen (bullet trains), visitors encounter a digital vending machine dispensing confectionery typically exclusive to regional stations served by the East Japan Railway Company (JR-East) network, as well as a wide selection of luxury, train-themed lifestyle goods.
The digital vending machine, which displays not only the products within but also video footage and information, offers visitors the chance to take a culinary journey through Japan. Within the selection visitors are able to try a variety of apple snacks and drinks from the celebrated apple-growing prefecture of Aomori, sweet potato chips from Ibaraki and mandarin mochi from Nagano. Each drink and snack celebrates the unique flavours of Japan's diverse regions, made reachable by JR-East's vast network of high speed, local and luxury sightseeing trains.
The Japanese culture of jidōhanbaiki (vending machines) is well-known for both its high per person density - with one machine per 30 people - as well as the variety of goods served behind the brightly-lit façades. Just as much a mainstay of Japan's city scenes as on its rural country roads, the machines serve not only to satisfy the hunger and thirst of its population but also offer such conveniences as white shirts for office workers, freshly cooked pizza, flowers and umbrellas. The digital machine at Japan House follows suit in vending goods beyond the ordinary, dispensing ochoko (sake cups) in porcelain, copper and stainless steel, each intricately embellished with bullet train designs.
This celebration of Japan's highly acclaimed railways continues with an assortment of railway-themed goods produced by select artisans from northern Honshu. Train patterned notebooks from Rollbahn and a variety of themed stationery sit alongside tenugui (hand towels) featuring JR-East bullet train designs. Rail enthusiasts can further enjoy specially-produced souvenir postcards made for the TRAIN SUITE SHIKI-SHIMA luxury sightseeing train, which travels through Japan's northern prefectures.
The rail booth, which centres on the theme of connecting Japan through railway technology, is open from 3 July to 14 September 2023 and can be found in the Shop on the ground floor of Japan House, Kensington High Street. The Shop, home to an ever-changing array of artisanal Japanese goods, is open from 10:00 - 20:00 Monday to Saturday and 12:00 -18:00 on Sundays and bank holidays. For further details and information regarding the availability and selection of items, please contact The Shop on +44 20 3972 7100 or email at: [email protected].