A person can buy almost anything from a vending machine in Japan, but one must be careful, because not everything served in a plastic bottle from a vending machine is a refreshing beverage, sometimes it’s a whole fish submerged in its own stock.
According to Rocket News 24, vending machines full of bottles of flying fish soup stock have started appearing in various prefectures around Japan, including Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. The vending machines belong to the Dashidouraku company, which runs an udon shop that has become quite famous for the flying fish stock in some of its soups. The restaurant is famous, and the stock in such high demand that the company started bottling and selling it. While most companies might put their soup stock in grocery stores or sell it at their restaurants, Dashidoraku decided to skip all that and just put the 500-mililiter bottles in vending machines.
Each bottle sells for about $6.25 and contains a whole, fried flying fish, completely submerged in its own stock. The bottles are the exact size and shape of beverage bottles, though, so the potential for mix-ups seems high. The machine signage all clearly says that the bottles are full of stock, but one can only imagine a person not being able to read Japanese and buying one as a refreshing beverage, and getting a mouth full of fried fish head instead.