I'm trying to keep posts that start "When I was in Japan.." to a maximum of one a week. But anyway....
When I was in Japan one of the things that struck me was just how awesome their vending machines are. I'd heard about them before I went, but nothing prepared me for the sheer number of machines. They are everywhere. And you can buy most things from them - including the awesome "Boss Coffee" for less than 200 yen (just over a pound or so). In fact one of the rules of Happy Japan travelling" is to have a pocket full of massively useful 100 yen coins at all times.
The machines seem to always work and never run out of stock. Amazing stuff.
These machines are also ubiquitous. They sell plastic balls containing all kinds of diversions, from superhero models to rear-view mirrors for your desktop. Awesome.