Vending Machines To The Rescue

Rescue Vending MachineWhen I contemplate a hypothetical situation where I might need emergency assistance in Japan two things come to mind:

First, the emergency number is 119 instead of 911.

Second, how the heck do you tell dispatch where the emergency is?

Fortunately finding out your exact location could be just as easy as locating the nearest vending machine. Japan has almost six million vending machines selling every imaginable consumable (and quite a few that you would never imagine). It’s been said that Japan has one vending machine for every 20 people. Japan’s vending machine operators are now reportedly banding together to add address stickers to vending machines.

Having been lost a few times on the streets of Tokyo I think this is a great idea. I’m actually kind of surprised it took this long for someone to think of this. Not only will these stickers help with emergency services, but they’ll also help lost tourists.

Just one question. Since the buildings of Tokyo are numbered in the order they were built (and not sequentially as they are in most other parts of the world), how will these vending machines be numbered?