There are a variety kinds of vending machine in Japan.
It is from gum to instant noodle. Interestingly, banana or apple is also sold in the machine. However, the most popular one is beverage such as juice, water and coffee.
Also, you could buy cigarette in the machine. In Japan, people are allowed to smoke when they get 20 years old. However, everyone could buy it a little while ago. Nowadays, you need “taspo” to buy it. Taspo is a card which certify your age.
Originally, the first vending machine in Japan was invented by Mr. Tawaraya and it was a machine for cigarette. During 20 century, the number of machine was increasing. However, it is decreasing, nowadays.
Plese check the following website to find more interesting information.