Monday, July 25, 2005

Vending Machine on Nishinoshima

Nishinoshima Sports Festival - 11
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I've been planning on doing a little photo essay on all the vending machines in my town - we have machines that sell everything from beverages, to condoms, to cigarettes, to film, to batteries, to beer. So here is a pic of one to whet your appetite.

Hopefully I'll have time to walk around and snap pics of all the different ones - the sheer number of vending machines and the variety boggles the mind. Altho the interesting thing is almost none of them sell food - no chips or candy or gum or twinkies. Very sad when you've got the munchies and you're in a hurry. But I think they lack food because the other ubiquitous feature in any and all Japanese towns is the convenience store, called a "conbini" here. Like 7-11 or Circle K back home, the local Lawsons or Popular is host to all your snacking needs - if you want Japanese snacks. :)
And most of them are open 24 hours, so one is never far from a box of pocky or an onigiri (rice ball) or a tea beverage of some sort.

Anyway, this particular vending machine pictured above was spotted on the island of Nishinoshima by my friend, Nigel, and myself. We marvelled at the sheer size of the beer on offer, and the fact that you could buy a whole bottle of what looks like whiskey or bourbon right out of a vending machine. Almost all vending machines accept 1000 yen notes, the smallest paper currency they have in Japan. 1000 yen is about $10, so at first it seems odd to be sticking what amounts to a $10 bill into a vending machine, but you soon get used to it.
And I do it so often now - maybe that's why I never have any money! :)


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