Friday, November 19, 2010

One reason why I love Japanese Vending Machines !

On a trip to visit sleepytako who was living and teaching in Sanda
Japan at the time, I came to realize how much I love vending machines.

Sanda Is about 35 kilometers beyond the Rokko Mountain range from
This is a big agricultural area known for fabulous Strawberries and
the famous Kobe Beef.
It is about a hour train ride into Osaka through some of the most
beautiful mountains, tree covered tunnels (each tunnel has a name) to
bridges over rocky, crystal clear rivers.

It is visual heaven to this desert dweller.

Sanda is a commuter family town and has a vibrant city area and train
station but I was living out in the countryside so I had a charming
but very small train station.
Next to the train station, there were fields of rice and vegetables
along both sides of the road I walked to get to the apartment I was
staying at.
You never see a plot of land that is empty in Japan if it is flat
there is always something growing on it from rice, vegetables or

Late one evening after we left the lights of the train station, parking lot, taxi
station and a few late night riders, it was just me and the mollybot
walking down this very dark and quiet road. There were a few homes and
street lights but it was dark and so quiet I swear that you could hear
the rice growing.

Then right before us glowing in the dark standing all by itself next
to an electrical pole and a rice field, lighting our way down the road
was a soft drink vending machine. Softly glowing in the dark all by
itself, just standing there lighting our way.

I came to really love seeing that vending machine on those late night
walks home.
I miss that walk, I miss that vending machine and I can't believe I
don't have a picture !

But I remember it all, like I was just there walking down that road
again late last night !

glowing. . . parsnip
music. . . A Place We Must Return To, Final Fantasy OST


  1. You know what I love? I love this story, you don't need a picture. And I love staggering to the front door to find, before having to go out into the cold dark morning, the brightest, most colourful, and charming artistically constructed post-card imaginable lying on the mat. Thank you for being so you, X

  2. The mountains and rivers sound beautiful and I love that each of the "tree covered tunnels" has a name. That soft drink vending machine glowing in the darkness must have been a pleasant sight.

  3. Eryl...
    I love that story too it is so vivid to me even after all the years.
    I so enjoyed making that postcard I had a super fun afternoon. One side is a bit heavy being folded over to hide the message, so I am never sure if they make it in one piece. I am so glad you liked it.

    It is one of my favorite train rides and I loved staying in such a beautiful area filled with lovely old houses and rice field everywhere.
    Now I am mostly based in city of Nishinomiya (Osaka) and I am only steps to the train station and thanks to my son and daughter-in-law I know many of the people and shop owners in the area so I feel quite at home. Plus lots of family and friend all around. I am so lucky !

  4. I love the moon photograph.
    Was it safe to walk in the dark? It's a great experience if it is.

  5. Perfect story; superb, surreal image and ending.
    Thank you.

  6. Right, I can see the pop machine glowing like something out of Totoro. Magical. I like this post Parsnip.

  7. Pat...
    Where we were living it was a smallish area of homes a bridge over the river a very small temple right next to the hills much like this picture. There were rice field all around this little pocket of homes and two small apartment buildings. so it was not completely dark but we were surrounded by darkness.
    It was very safe where we were walking and I have to be careful as I have a tendency to fall alot.

    It was rather surreal and wonderful all at the same time.

    I am always on the look out for Totoros, Dust Sprites and if a Cat Bus just happened to stop at the corner I would get on for a ride !
    You can see where Hayao Miyazaki gets all his ideas from. The countryside is magical.

  8. I love the story also. You made me long for late night walks and glowing vending machines. Excellent.

  9. Carole...
    I always have such a great time in Japan. I just enjoy being there and having lots of Family and Friends makes it even so much better. I always feel at home and the vending machines don't hurt either !