Complete with hilariously modified rail announcements.

Two things Japan is well known for are its trains and its vending machines. And while it’s not uncommon to see a vending machine at a train station, one thing we haven’t seen before is a train on a vending machine. 

Now Tokyo Metro has combined the two glorious entities together in what they’re calling The Vending Train. And with only one of its kind in existence in the whole world, we were eager to stop by and check it out for ourselves.

▼ The machine is located in between exits 12 and 13 at Tameike-sanno Station.

▼ If you need help finding it, keep an eye out for these posters, which are laid out on the wall opposite the machine.

What makes this drinks machine extra special is the fact that it’s been made with parts from a retired Ginza Line 01 Series train, a model which operated at this station from January 1984 to March 2017.

From a distance, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just another regular vending machine, but as you approach it, a number of unique features become visible.

Firstly, it has a large “The Vending Train” sign posted beside it, which explains the “re-employment” of the retired train in its new incarnation, along with logos of Tokyo Metro and Suntory Coffee Boss drawing attention to the special joint collaboration.

The machine has been wrapped in the same metallic finish used on the original train, while the overall design replicates the look of the 01 series’ front carriage. 

And as you stand at the machine to make your drink selection, you’ll find yourself on a tiny track in front of the train.

▼ Look at that adorable train face!

The front of the machine has some heartwarming details for train enthusiasts, including an image of the original train when it was in operation…

▼ An original ID plate…

▼ A specs plate taken from the train…

▼ And a Tokyo Metro “M” logo.

The collaboration with Suntory Coffee Boss means the machine is stocked with nothing but Boss-branded beverages.

One of the most unique aspects of The Vending Train is its special speaker, which plays through five different announcements on a loop. The messages were recorded by four rail staff from Tokyo Metro, with each one based upon actual announcements regularly heard on subway trains, with a twist to make it more relevant to the drinks machine experience.

Take a look at the video below to hear some of the announcements.

The below list shows the original train announcement on the left, with the vending machine announcements on the right.

“Thank you for using the Ginza Line today” ➙ “Thank you for using The Vending Train today”
“Please refrain from rushing onto the train” ➙ “Please refrain from rushing coins into the machine”
“Please be careful to take your belongings with you” ➙ “Please be careful to take your change with you.”
“Please watch your step. The exit will be on the left/right hand side of the train” ➙ “Please watch your step. The exit will be towards the bottom.”
“This is a request for all passengers. Please give your seat to others who may need it in the priority seating area of the train” ➙ “This is a request for all customers. Please make room for others so they may make a purchase”

The vending machine – which is said to be the first of its kind in the world – was unveiled on 22 February, and has already been attracting a lot of attention from passersby.

The retired train may no longer be running on the tracks at Tameike-sanno Station, but it’s still continuing to serve commuters and bring a smile to their faces with its new revamped look. And now that it’s been given a new lease on life as a vending machine, hopefully more of Japan’s retired trains will be following in its footsteps.

Photos © SoraNews24  

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Follow Oona on Twitter and Instagram for more updates from Japan!