Imagine standing at the train station at 9:30pm waiting for your train home after work. It’s 10 degrees celsius, the wind is cutting through your jumper, and your hands feel on the verge of frostbite…. okay, maybe this is a little bit excessive for 10 degrees, but remember, I am an Aussie who is used to winter reaching a minimum of 15 degrees! The train doesn’t come for another 6 minutes and you would love a hot drink to try to warm you from the inside out. Then you notice a vending machine close by, and your dreams have come true.
Hot drinks in a can vending machine, where else but in Japan!?
I have never been in a country where the drinks in the vending machine change depending on the season. Here in Japan, when the cold season starts to roll in, the vending machines are stocked with hot canned and bottles drinks. From hot chocolate and mochas to strawberry milk and a range of coffee varieties. I’m not talking about luke warm drinks here either, last week, while trying to regain feeling in my hands I bought a canned coffee and it nearly burnt my hands, and the coffee inside was deliciously hot.
It is a small luxury which makes the cold waits at the train stations a little more enjoyable. If you are in Japan, the drinks with a red price are hot, and the blue labels are cold drinks.
And yes, you better believe it, when winter is over the hot drinks will be taken out and replaced with more cold options.