Tuesday, December 07, 2010

culture shock

If you have ever visited Japan during the colder months, you may or may not have noticed that the vending machines sell "hot" and "cold" drinks.

Apparently, the machines change from all "cold" to some "hot" & "cold" at the beginning of October.

Then, at the beginning of Spring, depending on the weather temperature, it changes back to all "cold".

Even if you cannot read Japanese, it is pretty easy to figure out which is which because the "hot" drinks have a red line under them, while the "cold" have a blue line.

Recently though, I've been noticing that these vending machines are selling soup, like corn potage.

They probably have been doing this for years, but since I don't always buy drinks from the vending machines, I've never noticed them until now.

Another thing I've noticed they are selling are zenzai and shiruko.

Don't know how it would be to "drink" this out of a can, and they probably wouldn't have any mochi (rice cake) in there, for sure (because you might choke on it.)

Some other beverages served "hot" are cocoa and a lemon drink.

Where in the States, we say "coco" for cocoa, people here pronounce it "coco-ah".

I've never tried the "hot" lemon drink but have a feeling it must be like marmalade tea minus the citrus bits and nutrients.

What kinds of interesting items are in your vending machines?


chimerastone said...

Hi Kat and Satoshi.
Not possible to drink mochi or there be a drink which can be made to taste like mochi. I only like the green tea mochi.
The cocoa reminds me the time I brought cocoa biscuits (I knew because it said so in katakana from muji store. I can only get Japanese snacks either from Asian Supermarkets or in Hong Kong.

Helen said...

I saw a really interesting one at the parking area of a mountain recently. It had an AED device in it. It's a genius idea. My blog entry with a picture is here.

KirkK said...

I love the variety and choices you have Kat!

K said...

Haha yeah- I've noticed those soups/other hot items in vending machines too, but I've never tried them!

I wonder how hot they are though- because you'd want them to be hot enough but wouldn't it be sort of dangerous to be picking up a hot aluminum can from the machine??

K and S said...

some of the snacks from MUJI are tasty Chimerastone :)

I've not seen any in our area Helen, I hope these AED are easily accessible in times of need.

Sometimes definitely too many choices Kirk!

So true K, you wouldn't want it to come out too hot to hold and yet you would want the soup to be hot.

Take care everyone.

Jude said...

I'd actually love to see more hot beverage machines in the States (or London for the months - or more like weeks, I hope - I'm there). Sometimes, you want a quick convenient dose of the soothing warm stuff as much as the cooling drinks! Sigh, it might be a while though, before the rest of the world's vending machines catch up to Japan's that way...

PudgyM29 said...

When staying at a hostel in Tokyo, Taitö-Ku, I found several vending machines where Asahi Mitsuya Cider was being offered in the same sized container for the same price, both hot and cold.

Unknown said...

My hubby love the hot lemon drink esp the one by Sapporo, the sourness is just right for him. The hot drinks are good for travellers like us to keep warm during winter.

K and S said...

hopefully someone will read this and start bring these machines overseas Jude :)

that is interesting PudgyM29 :)

It is definitely nice to carry around when you are walking outside Tearybabe :)

Take care everyone.

Rowena said...

Italy has vending machines but I think Japan beats all. Hot and cold? Soup? No ways. We do have cigarette vending machines though (gotta take a photo).

K and S said...

yeah we got tons of cigarette vending machines too Rowena, but now you need an ID to buy (supposed to prevent the little ones from smoking, I guess)...

Take care.

ilingc said...

Hi Kat,

Ahh how I miss vending machines in Japan. Those hot lemon drinks from the were my life savers when I got sick on our trip. I would have up to 4 of those a day just to try and soothe my cough/throat.

Our vending machines here aren't so fancy. Just the usual cold drinks or cold drinks + junk food combo. =\

K and S said...

Nice to hear from you Ilingc, hope you've been well :)

Take care.

Patzie said...

I was very interested in corn soup when I was in Japan last month but I figured that it would be too weird so I didn't buy it. (I know, I'm such a wimp!)

K and S said...

you aren't a wimp Patzie :)

Take care.

Ulas said...

It's really tricky to have hot canned drinks. I know this, having stayed in Japan for a year some 10 years ago. You'll have to use a minimal part of your hands to hold that, can get really hot sometimes. Usually the hotter drink cans tend to be smaller, so that you can hold the can with the index finger and the thumb. Then comes the opening part. The opening ring is also hot, but as not hot as the can proper, but this gets kinda painful if you don't open the can quickly. It needs some-though not much-time to get used to the hotness until you can open. Now that you've opened the can, here comes the drinking part. First, you'll have to pour the drink from one inch or so higher (a few centimeters if you're from a metric country like me) from your mouth, without touching with your lips, but after the first sip you can put your lips as well. You can place your bottom lip a little below the immediate opening if you like. Once the can gets to a reasonable temperature, you can drink it like any canned drink. I recall enjoying a warm can of my favourite chestnut flavored drink at my strolls at cold nights. Man, I miss being in Japan.

PS: That Corn Potage has been sold by the vending machines for years, at least for over 10 years.

K and S said...

Thanks Ulas, I knew the potage and others must have been sold in the machines for awhile now.

Take care.

Jessica said...

Soup from a vending machine has always seemed slightly frightening to me, but I guess it's really no different than buying it in some other container! The strangest vending machines I see in Tokyo are the ones in Akihabara station that have canned oden and canned bread. Eew!

K and S said...

Jessica, it must be hard to eat canned oden, wonder if they give you chopsticks too??

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I always love the vending machines in Japan so many fun and unique things. ;-)

K and S said...

Fun indeed Debinhawaii :)

Take care.

Shirley the Bridezilla said...

I am a student at the law school at UH and they recently added a "healthy" vending machine in addition to the one for soda and the other one for chips, cookies, and candy bars. The "healthy" vending machine has things like instant ramen (I know, not exactly healthy), fruit cups (like grapefruit), roast beef sandwiches and the like. I think it's a really smart idea and it's usually sold out when I come to school at night (as I'm a part-time, evening student) despite the higher price of the items in the new machine versus the old.

K and S said...

The "healthy" machines sound like they have a majority of good items in them Shirley Lou. When I used to go to UH, they used to have fruit like apples in them :)

Take care.