can you really buy alcohol in vending machines?

I will be visiting Japan with my teenage son, is it true that anyone can buy alcohol in a vending machine? Is this regulated at all? What is the law regarding alcohol in Japan?


Country: Japan


Good evening Tampa,

Yes, it is true that you can buy alcohol from vending machines. You can buy almost anything in Japan from vending machines. However they're not that commmon, and usually they are located infront of a 'sakaya' a bottle shop.

To be honest I don't think you will see one unless you really go around looking for one.

In Japan the legal age of alcohol consumption is 20 years of age.

I hope this has helped answer your question Tampa. If you have anymore questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards,
Lance Robinson
Yes, it is true.

But they are electronically disabled after 11:00pm in most areas of Japan.
Enjoy your trip, with or without alcohol!

Stay Healthy
HI there
OF course u can buy alcohol everywhere ,no only in the vending machine ,have also the convinience stores 24hrs
and uyou can find everything there
good luck
Yes, but alcohol-vending machines have become rare recently. There are only 54,000 of them left, accounting for about 1 percent of all vending machines. The alcoholic beverages industry relies very little on sales through vending machines. Your best bet would probably be a nearby convenience store (open 24/7).
Yes, Alcohol is available in vending machines, also in Convenience stores along with cigarettes. Recently both tobacco and alcohol vending machines have been fitted with an electronic ID checking machine (The cards are a little like an ATM card and are available from the ward office). The vending machines are supposed to be turned off after 11pm, but most owners conveniently forget to turn them off.
It's also illegal for the Convenience stores to sell to minors (Major offense for them with very big fines attached), but most of the staff will not be able to guess at the age of "Foreign visitors".
Street drinking or drinking in public places is not illegal and the police will definitely over look it.
Legal age for both is 20.

Best of luck.

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