Japanese Vending Machines

Japanese Vending Machines 2

I saw it as my duty to the cause of Western Hedonism to try as many different brands and drinks as possible. It helped that the vending machines were brightly lit at all hours of the night, so that as you stumbled home from a night of neon-light overdose, your ears still ringing to the sound of DoCoMo mobile phones and your throat parched from one too many wasabi peas, you could find your fill of Aquarius, Freestyle, Gaba and Active Diet.

Note the blue labels beneath each drink, signifying cold. Some machines have red labels and dispense piping hot cans of coffee or tea, white or black and/or sweetened or unsweetened depending on your preference and/or complete inability to read labels in Kanji. Popular coffee brands include Boss, with a pipe-smoking picture of Papa Hemingway on the can, Roots, always popular with Australian tourists, and Fire, which frankly is what I aspire to in a beverage: third-degree esophageal burns.

But the most intriguing bottles in this photo are the ones without any English on them at all, covered in tranquil images of green leaves. How very Zen. Thirsty? I was...

May 2006

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