Soul Searching and Dr. Pepper
It all started with Dr. Pepper....
After living in japan for three months I am often asked "what do you miss most from the states". It’s a question I think about a lot. The answer is, there isn't just one thing that i miss. I miss the things I can't get. I remember being quite keen on Dr. Pepper, which exists in Japan, but isn’t as easy to find as say a Pocari Sweat, or a Teagurt. So, today I went looking - desperate - and thirsty.
Vending machines exist all over japan, 10 feet from my apartment, on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, and in religious shrines as well. When it comes to vending machines I’m frequently asked “can you buy used panties from vending machines”, and the answer is probably yes. I’ve personally never seen any and neither has anyone i've met, sorry to let you down. However, if you read that clickbait article and immediately booked your ticket to Japan “The land of used panties vending machines” you’ll be disappointed, but keep your hopes up I’m sure if you look hard enough you’ll find one..
15 seconds from departing my apartment I ran into my first vending machine, I was disappointed to discover that there wasn't any Dr. Pepper. I did find something that looked familiar the very tasty "Mets Black Cola". I've had this drink before and once you look behind the nostalgic white cursive font and lustrous red can you find a cola that is lacking it’s definitely not a coca cola, it's not even an RC cola.
I transcended the temptation for the tasty "Mets Black Cola" and went on searching for something even better the elusive "Dr. Pepper".
As my search continued I found something very interesting, トマト(Tomato) drink. I forgot to mention an amazing Japanese vending machine innovation, which is that vending machines serve warm and cold drinks in the same vending machine. Just below this tomato drink was the label あったかい (warm). Mmmm warm tomato drink my favorite. This warm tomato drink was a great find, but I wouldn’t stop at anything less than Dr. Pepper, so I had to move on.
The next stop had the next best thing to Dr. Pepper, BEER! Yes, in Japan there are vending machines that sell beer. They are always in the best places to party as well, for example, this vending machine was in the middle of a suburban area in a strip mall with one flower shop, an ideal location for a night of binge drinking. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to rage in this almost empty shopping strip in suburbia. I had more pressing issues at hand I needed to find Dr. Pepper.
After a long day and a lot of disappointing vending machines I had finally found what I had been searching for. I found it in a very ordinary looking vending machine next to a Shinto fox shrine. I immediately cracked open the Dr. Pepper and poured one for my homies on the fox shrine. I didn’t actually do that please don’t pour any beverages on Japanese shrines, but do come to Japan and enjoy the wonders of abundant technologically advanced vending machines.