Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Only In Japan....

The Japanese are smart. They seem to be leagues ahead in technology than the rest of the world.

I remember living in Japan as a child and seeing all the new gizmos and gadgets that came out every year. Now as an adult, I actually appreciate the genius of the Japanese. They seem to have a knack for making life simpler. Take these for example.

1) How often do you go to a restaurant and end up waiting forever for a waiter/waitress to come and take your order? Well, let me tell you folks--in Japan--you don't have to wait. In some restaurants, you place your order with a machine, pay for it, print out the tickets, and hand it off. That's it.

Here's an example of one such machine at a local ramen noodle shop.

There are pictures of the entrees, so if you can't read Japanese, you can at least recognize what you want. You can choose your quantity, customize your order, and add even a beer if you wanted. Additionally in other restaurants, instead of having a machine, each table is equipped with a buzzer. Once you have the read the menu and know what you what, all you have to do is push the buzzer and wait for a waiter/waitress to come take your order. It's a no-hassle way of ordering. Just fast and efficient service.

2) I'm sure you have all heard that Japan is the land of vending machines. Well, this is true. You can find vending machines literally on every street corner. You can buy almost anything in a vending machine. Soda, beer, cigarettes, canned soup, canned coffee, iced tea, hot cocoa, ramen, ice-cream, Anything you want. But it's not just what the vending machines offer that make Japanese vending machines smart, nooooooo, it's much more. Here's the best part. In Japan, when buying a beverage from a vending machine--you can either get it hot or cold! And from the same machine no less....Genius, I tell you. How come the U.S hasn't adopted this yet? Who knows....

Don't worry if you can't read Japanese, the beverage vending machines have a blue line for "cold" and a red line for "hot." So, all you need to do is put in your money, choose your beverage, and choose to make it hot or cold. Take a look at the vending machine below, you can see the blue and red lines under the cans.

One little sidenote. In Japan, American celebrities are big here. While you may not believe Tommy Lee Jones to be an appropriate "spokesperson" for coffee back home, in Japan, his famous "mug" graces canned coffee called "Boss."

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