Last year I posted a set of old and no longer functioning Japanese vending machines. From booze, cigarettes and even batteries, those one time dispensers now stand empty and unused — their former necessity usurped by convenience stores and a rapidly changing culture.
Some of those machines I still have a real soft spot for. They look incredible, plus they also have an impossible to describe character. I even went as far as saying they possess a quiet dignity of sorts, which despite sounding a bit far-fetched isn’t all that difficult to imagine.
Since then I’ve been lucky enough to find several more, but the one below deserves a post all of its own. Design-wise it’s not all that different to its more modern cousins, but the decay and rust stains really set it apart. Now whether any of that means it has dignity or not I don’t know, but what isn’t up for debate is how truly unique it looks.
This is so awesome. It looks like something from a movie or Resident Evil game.
Thanks a lot. That’s a good call. Hadn’t thought about it like that, But yeah, looks almost too perfectly aged.
It’s hard not to empathise with something whose reason for existing can no longer be executed.
It looks terribly lonely, but does maintain a dignified presence in it’s ever increasing imperfection.
A wonderfuful find carefully documented and generously shared with us.
Absolutely my pleasure. Seeing this was a massive treat. My only complaint was the busy road, which meant lots of dashing in and out of traffic.
Yes, it does rather, although in my eyes at least its ever increasing imperfections seem to be drawing it nearer and nearer to absolute perfection.
‘Amazing,’ to be sure. I guess the ‘dignity’ part comes into play when you realize that it is still standing despite all of the rust and stains.
I shall share this with my daughter who loves the vending machines in Japan.
Yeah, it is amazing it’s still there. Be fascinating to know when it was last used.
Hope she likes it. Along with the first one in the linked post, this is my current favourite.
She was surprised that machines were allowed to deteriorate like that in Japan where ‘everything is so well cared for.’
Yeah, it is a weird one. Ownership perhaps, although I always thought most machines were sort of rented.
Probably still works better than the average Dutch vending machine … 😉
Haha, that genuinely made me chuckle. Dare say it’s not necessarily that far from the truth either.
Martin B says
I have been a big fan of your lonely vending machine photo’s for a long time and I have to agree with the previous comments, this one is perfect, the contrast between the corrosion and faded paint giving the machine a beautiful patina and the cans and bottles in the second picture which are still there and in perfect condition, despite the front panel being completely missing, makes a fantastic contrast
Thanks a lot, and very happy to hear you like this one so much as it has quickly become my joint favourite. Hard to beat for all the reasons you mentioned. Never seen one quite so perfectly corroded. Likely will never see another quite like it either, but one can but hope.
An iron brew; certainly with a unique flavour, and no one has taken the cans!
Yes, and with all that rust it’d be easy to imagine it’s made of girders.
“I’m old, I’m rusty, I’m out of order. But I’m still standing.”
I love how there are still bottles in there even if glass is broken.
Thanks for sharing !
You are welcome. Finding and photographing this was an absolute pleasure. And yes, very much still standing. Hopefully for many more years to come as well.
The brown spots and streaks almost look as if Coke has bubbled up over the top and streamed out over the machine over a long time, eating it from the inside out 🙂