No cash for a coke? Can't bum 110 yen off a friend to quench your thirst? No problem. Japan is now on the threshold of becoming a post cash society.
This high-tech vending machine, for example, allows customers to pay with their Pitapa (Keihan) rail card, cell phone, or (how banal) old fashioned coins or bills.
In addition, it entertains. It blares out a quasi-"Macarena" song at full blast for all passersby to enjoy. Its final feature is a video screen--in the middle of the second row of drinks.
January 15, 2007.