One cool thing about living in Japan is that, whether you’re in a bustling city or the open countryside, you’re never too far from a vending machine. True, you won’t find any canned ramen in many machines outside of Akihabara, but so long as there’s power to run one, you’re pretty much always within a few hundred metres of a machine selling both chilled and hot drinks.
We’ve seen some unusual things turning up in Japan’s vending machines over the years, but cans of peach juice with money taped to them is definitely a new one.
Spotted earlier this month, this photo has been shared thousands of times by Japanese net users, who marvelled at the curious ingenuity of the person who stocked this particular vending machine.
What we see here is a five yen coin haphazardly taped to the front of a can of Nectar; a sweet, peach-flavoured soft drink. Why is there money taped to it? Because the drink, most likely due of the recent consumption tax rise in Japan, retails for 125 yen, meaning that anyone who wants to purchase it has a problem on their hands since vending machines neither accept nor dispense five yen coins. Even if you happened to be carrying the exact change, there would be no way to purchase this particular drink, and if you slot in 130 yen or more, your change is always going to be five yen short.
So, what’s an enterprising vending machine operator do? Raise the price of the drink to 130 yen and hope that people still want that peachy goodness? Shave five yen off and risk running into the red? Of course not! What they do is painstakingly tape a five yen coin to each and every can of the stuff, allowing consumers to peel their change from their drink, by which time it will be so chilled that it will feel extra special in their pocket.
Stay beautiful, Japan.