Monthly subscription services have been making inroads in the food and dining industry in Japan lately. For example, Yaro Ramen offers a monthly plan for their noodle dishes, and ZeroCafe does the same for a cup of joe. Now, for the first time in Japan, you'll be able to pay a monthly subscription allowing you to drink from vending machines.

every pass Vending Machine Subscription Service

Offered by JR East, the new service called "every pass" will begin on October 1st, 2019.

Available at smart "Innovation" vending machines installed at 400 major stations in the JR East railroad network, the service is available to users of JR East's acure pass app.

Every day at midnight, subscribers receive a unique QR code with which they can purchase any drink in the machine once a day. In addition, points can be collected to redeem drinks or offered to other subscribers as gifts which they can them redeem at their leisure.


There will be two subscription plans, the Acure Made Plan and the Premium Plan.

The first will be available for 980 JPY a month but only for the first month and allows subscribers access to any product in JR East's original Acure Made brand. (See complete lineup here). The second will cost 2,480 JPY a month and will give subscribers access to Acure Made products as well as all other brands sold in Innovation vending machines.

This may seem expensive, but when you consider that many people have at least one drink a day when they commute to school or work on weekdays, 2,480 JPY a month works out to 124 JPY a day. If you also have one drink on weekends, it's 103 JPY a day. Most drinks you can purchase at Innovation vending machines run between 140 JPY to 160 JPY, so unless you're only drinking water or mini bottles (which begin at 120 JPY), the subscription plan represents savings. If you're only drinking 160 JPY beverages, you'll start saving after only 16 drinks or 4 drinks a week. The point system and other benefits create additional value as well.


For now, there's a 500 member limit to the subscription pool, so you'll need to put your name in a lottery and hope you'll be selected.

If you're interested in giving it a shot, visit the following website and register between September 2nd 10:00 and September 16th 23:59 (JST). The results will be announced at the end of September and if you're one of the lucky 500, you'll be able to begin using "every pass" from October 1st, 2019.

By - Ben K.