Japanese Vending Machines Captured Over Nine Winters

Wednesday November 22, 2017 Written by suzi

Japan is home to 127 million people and an extraordinary 5.5 million vending machines. That's a healthy people: machine ratio of around 23 to one. You can buy all kinds of things from Japanese vending machines, like bananas, umbrellas and surgical masks (presumably so that you can conveniently perform surgery on the street on a rainy day, and then regain your energy from the ordeal with a banana, all on your way to work). You can also purchase eggs, hamburgers, ramen and flying fish soup. 

Photographer Eiji Ohashi, who has spent the past nine years documenting these nifty little food capsules, recently said in an interview with Hyperallergic: "I would like to consider how convenient life makes us happy. I thought about what happiness a vending machine gives to us… as part of Japanese spirituality, we always ask for convenience in our lives.” 

Ohashi's vending machine images are captured in his latest book Roadside Lights and if you happen to be in Paris, they're being exhibited at Gallerie &co119 from December 7.

Photography: Eiji Ohashi