I did what I’m calling a “portrait walk”, where I met a friend who agreed to be a model, and we walked from point A to point B in the centre of Nagoya. As you can see she’s looking great, very fashionable… but cold, and hence the puffy jacket (and I froze, too). It was a great chance for me to get a handful of photos I’d been meaning to get, including someone shopping; using a drink vending machine; a mobile phone used in the open; and expectantly, she is great with a spinning top!
It was interesting, she asked ‘why a vending machine?’. A natural enough question for a Japanese person; vending machines are everywhere, and they are so ubiquitous that they are nothing special. I pointed out that vending machines in Japan are as much of a symbol of Japan as Big Ben is to London, or the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. A point you might miss that is quite interesting. In winter, they change the settings of some some part of the machine to heat a selection of drinks. All the drinks with red price labels are hot, whilst all the ones that are blue are chilled. Most drinks price in the range of 110yen to 150yen.
The vending machine we shot could take money in four forms being of course coins, notes, Manaca card, and Waon card. Manaca is an embedded ic-chip card that just needs to touch a sensor surface for credit to be transferred. The Manaca is used mainly as a regular commuter access card, but can also be used in many convenience stores and vending machines in Nagoya. I don’t know if it’s usable in other places like Osaka or Tokyo, but I think they have their own systems instead. Finally, I have little idea of what the Waon card is. I think the Waon card might be connected to the Aeon shopping mall conglomerate.