is for jihanki, or the Japanese word for vending machine. Summers in Kyoto are quite hot, and winters are frigid. When you’re outside trying to get from place to the next, staying hydrated and warm is no easy feat. It can seem hard to justify a cafe visit or stop-in at a supermarket for a single drink. However, that doesn’t stop the locals from keeping the whistles wet. Kyoto has thousands upon thousands, maybe even a million, vending machines at their disposal.
Vending machines carry everything you can think of. Water, soda, juices, coffee (hot or cold). It can even make you mochas and cappuccinos if you’re late for work. Some machines sell soup in a can, or whole fruit, or wrapped pastries. You can even find cigarette and liquor vending machines (which won’t activate unless you swipe a valid ID card), or try Japan’s unique flavors, like “pancake au lait” or “rare cheese orange juice”. I don’t recommend the latter!
The convenience of having a vending machine always nearby has been a blessing; I never have to carry a backpack or more than my camera and my wallet. It’s going to take some getting used to, not having that anymore!
Images hosted on Flickr.