Does this vending machine meet the eligibility criteria?

Hello to all judges.
Are the following vending machines eligible? We would appreciate your opinion.


This is not just a generic vending machine. It must fall under the “search” category of the eligibility criteria. The reasons why we believe it falls under this category are as follows.

  1. It is intended to be explored as part of local promotion. It is not intended solely for the mere sale of goods.
  2. The design must be interesting. It must be worth the trouble of visiting.
  3. It must be closely related to the local community. There must be a clear reason why it is designed the way it is.

I believe that my example satisfies the above conditions for the following reasons
*The vending machine is installed by a public municipality (Tachikawa City), not an individual or a company.
*The vending machine is not only selling beverage products, but also has a unique and original design.
*There are original products that can only be purchased here.

The vending machine was installed in collaboration with Tachikawa City because the popular anime “Toaru Kagaku no Railgun” is based on Tachikawa City, and many people visit the vending machine every year, as events related to the anime are held in the city.
In other words, these vending machines are not just for the purpose of selling products, but for people to explore.
I believe that a vending machine that meets these conditions can be qualified as a WAYSPOT, but I would appreciate your comments if there are any conditions missing.

Thank you for reading.


As a non-Japanese reviewer I would be very sceptic about this type of noms. I see what makes them to see unique is their design but, with the information I have about vending machines, this design can be modified or replaced easily, so I don’t know if we could say they are permanent or distinct. How can we know they are permanent? How can we know there are not ten or hundred of other vending machine that are the same as this one are you sharing? That would be some questions I would ask myself if I have to review a nomination like this one.

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Thank you for your comment.
I can easily answer your question about whether there are any other similar types of products. The answer is “no”.
I have given the URL at the time of application, but you can see the design of the vending machine installed by this local government through the community development program at the following page No one design is identical.

The problem I see also is that in Japan there are vending machines in each corner, so I wouldn’t be sure if these ones are planned to be permanent or if they are enough distinct to be considered they fall under exploration criteria. This is a very interesting topic so maybe other people could give their opinion about it ^^


As you say, there are too many vending machines in Japan, and it is the applicant’s role to apply for them according to the WAYSPOT criteria, and to communicate and prove that the subject is unique and for what purpose it is installed.
As for the example of the vending machine, could it be positioned in the same way as a design manhole? A typical manhole only serves to preserve the boundary between the sewer and the ground, but a designed Pokemon manhole, for example, would attract travelers for that purpose.
Unique vending machines, such as the one in this case, can also be used to convey local characteristics to travelers and attract them to the area. Of course, the applicant will have to prove this.^^

As an American reviewer, I would probably reject these nominations. I agree they look interesting. My issues would include if they are permanent and located where the submitter says they are. That you say these are part of a promotion would make me think they are temporary.

I think you’ll struggle with these, if you think they are special enough to meet criteria, you’ll have to do a very good job explaining why they are unique or different to any others and show that they are there permanently, especially difficult to show location as they are indoors.
Good luck!

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Thank you for your comment.
Permanent. This is a very difficult task. Because we cannot predict the future.
For example, park equipment like jungle gyms. These have been believed to be permanent.


But nowadays they are being removed because they are dangerous. It is a trend of the times, but there are plenty of examples like this, and no one can guarantee the future.
However, we can wisely predict the future based on past performance.
I wrote that there has been a tie-up with a popular anime that has been modeled on this city of Tachikawa for the past 14 years. And as you can see, there is still a sequel in the works.

You know what this means. There will probably be another regular event this year, and the tie-up will most likely continue into next year and beyond. Since the work has gained a certain amount of citizenship, it can be predicted that it will remain in some form for 50 years after it ends, or until the copyright expires.
I think it is stereotypical and shallow to think that because it is a campaign, it is temporary. I apologize for my rudeness.
Thank you for reading.

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Thank you for your comment.
I agree wholeheartedly.
And the vending machine I gave as an example meets all of those criteria.
My point is that other such vending machines exist. Are there others that you can think of that are unique and permanent, of course? I mean to say.
Perhaps the conditions I exemplified were excessive.

I’m Italian and I would personally accept these, both with the detailed description that you gave, and generally understanding Japanese culture and seeing that the government installed them since the anime is based on your city, I can totally see those vending machines staying in place for a long time. Just submit them in Japanese with a shorter description explaining they’ve been installed in partnership with the government, and you should be good to go some time in the future, I see a lot of skeptics in the comments but I think they just didn’t fully interpret your description in the context of your country’s culture. Peace :slight_smile:


Hold on, you cannot wayspot vending machine because this is temporary (unless if you found some permanent unique vending machine.)

If park playground equipment such as jungle gyms are to be used as an example, why not use their service life as a basis? The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), which is in charge of local government administration in Japan, indicates that the standard usage period is 15 years for steel equipment and 10 years for wooden equipment, and that equipment should be replaced once that period is exceeded. In contrast, the service life of vending machines is 10 years, although repairs may be necessary. This is almost the same as that of playground equipment in parks.
I believe that playground equipment should be used in Wayspot images as a symbol of the park. So even if the playground equipment is no longer there, the park will still be there and Wayspot will continue to be valid.
In the case of the vending machine, it is difficult to say whether the vending machine decorated with the artwork will be replaced with the same design after its useful life, or whether the campaign will end. If the popularity of the work is not a temporary boom, it may be safe to assume that the campaign will not end. In fact, this work has been persistently popular.

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Thank you for your kind words and interest. I have submitted several appeals to Niantic, but each time they keep rejecting it as a “normal vending machine with no significance”. I am struggling to get people to understand the city’s activities to revitalize the city, but as long as there are tourists who visit the city for the purpose of this vending machine, I think it qualifies as a wayspot, so I am going to persist in seeking their understanding.

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Thank you for your comment.
As I have commented before, this object has been established through a tie-up project by the city that has lasted for 14 years, so it is highly probable that it will continue to exist in the future.
I think it is a required quality for judges to read and understand the contents before making a decision, without being misled by the category of the subject object.

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Thanks for the reply.
I used jungle gyms as an example to show that more and more cases are being removed because they are “dangerous,” irrespective of their useful life. In other words, no one knows the future even if it is supposed to be permanent, and whether it is permanent or not must be predicted based on past performance.
Besides, as far as vending machines are concerned, this tie-up project has been going on for 14 years, and vending machines that have reached the end of their useful life continue to be reinstalled with the same design. This can be proven from past street views. In other words, the service life of a vending machine is not a guideline.
In addition, since parks have a WAYSPOT and playground equipment has a different WAYSPOT, we cannot equate them and say that the equipment is permanent.
Thank you for reading.

CrownFeather, I missed your last sentence. My apologies.

I strongly agree with you that it is very difficult to prove whether this work is transitory or not. I am sure that it has deep-rooted popularity, but I have no way to objectively demonstrate this. I would be grateful for your advice.

We see the same thing here in my part of the US. “Permanent” structures are often removed. Murals are painted over… etc… But in the case of the example, I think we’d all agree a playground is “permanent” for the purposes of Niantic Wayfarer.

Cultural frames of references differ here. Advertising campaigns tend to be fleeting here. There will be marketing tie-ins that will last several weeks or a couple of months revolving around the release of a movie or show, and then they’re gone. Maybe they’ll come back in a few years with a sequel release… or not.

Thank you for your comment.
I understand what you are saying. As for the playground, I guess what I am saying is that the playground is likely to be permanent, and as for the playground equipment, it is likely to continue to exist as long as there is no notice of its removal, although it is possible that it will be removed.
On the other hand, I agree that many of the tie-in campaigns are fixed term.
However, as I have illustrated, there are some tie-ups that are done for the purpose of regional promotion that do not have a fixed term.
I feel that this calls for reviewers to be thoughtful enough to read the application and make a careful judgment, rather than to uniformly judge tie-up campaigns as being temporary.
They should never make decisions based on a gut feeling.