I fell in love with vending machines when I was a mere tot, whose parents seemingly only joy besides the Old Style was bowling. You can only see so many asses bending over, twisting in pretzel shapes before one gets bored. So, I roamed. I could not believe the things you could buy in the ladies room! Oh, if only I had 15 cents, I could buy a tiny sewing kit, with scissors! I do believe I spent too much time coveting the tiny razors and other feminine goodies. I'm sure I begged my mom for spare change, and received a response of, "We'll see," which meant no because that would be cutting into their beer tab.
My fascination did not dwindle as I grew up. My first cup of coffee was from a vending machine. It was delicious.
So, I can understand Japan's love of the machine. I think the other reason I love them is because it's a private experience, just you and your desire inches apart by glass and coin. Even when I use the self checkout I get annoyed because there is some yahoo standing near, watching to make sure you don't skip the scanner. It bugs me.
Unfortunately, I don't see too many vending machines anymore. Not ones that hold cool stuff, anyway. I guess shopping online is about as close as I will get to a bit of privacy and some obvious drooling. I haven't figured out where to stick the dollar bill, though.