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Food For Thought Vending Machines
(Entered May. 31, 2004)
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Japan is truly the land of bottled beverages and vending machines. Over here, vending machines are usually never more than a few blocks apart, even in rural areas. You almost never find one standing alone. Two vending machines side by side is the norm, with three or four together not being uncommon. The most glorious display I have ever seen was about 20 vending machines standing together at a highway rest stop in Hokkaido. So what kind of stuff do they offer? Unlike most western countries where Coke and Pepsi fight it out 90% of the time, in Japan, you will mainly be bombarded with various types of cold bottled tea. Not that there isn't a whole slew of other stuff, in fact there are so many brands and varieties of drinks, you might buy something one day and never find it again. For those of you who are wondering, yes it's true what you've heard. You can buy almost anything from a vending machine here including clothes, CD's, books, beer and of course porn. The most impressive thing about them however, is the massive effort and resources it must take to keep the million or so machines across Japan constantly stocked up.

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