Dating apps are passé. The process of reading through profile after profile, swiping left and right mindlessly can be emotionally exhausting for many. Enter Japan and its matchmaking vending machine.
In Tokyo’s Kamata neighbourhood, there is a vending machine stocked with cans, but it doesn’t sell beverages. Instead, the pink cans represent women, while the beige ones men, and their individual ages are written on each can. The vending machine is stocked and managed by Matching Advisor Press (MAP).
They provide a matchmaking service for people seeking a serious relationship with marriage in mind. Each can in the vending machine costs 3,000 yen (US$26), and serves as a voucher for a one-hour interview session with a MAP advisor. Following that, a three-hour dinner date will be arranged, and the “buyer” will have to pay an additional 9,000 yen (US$78) service fee along with the cost for the food and drinks. A sign on the vending machine also states that, should the matchmaking lead to marriage, an additional 300,000 yen (US$2,608) will have to be paid to MAP.
This is a concept that is both quirky and bizarre at once, and to top it all off, all the cans in the vending machine are listed as “sold”. While a sign states that MAP won’t be operational until 1 March 2022, it’s unclear whether the cans are listed as “sold” because they’re bought out in advance, or because MAP hasn’t begun allowing them to be bought yet.