The Most Obsessive Vending Machine Blog I've Ever Seen

Illustration for article titled The Most Obsessive Vending Machine Blog Ive Ever Seen
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

You know those people who take pictures of themselves everyday? Now imagine that, but with a Japanese vending machine.

Since August 5, 2005, Japanese site I take a picture of the vending machine every day (or so). I’m very sorry. has uploaded well over two thousand photos of the same Coca-Cola vending machine. Photos go up nearly everyday, but some days the guy who runs the site (he goes by "Motomachi" online), takes a break or goes on vacation.

Vending machines are seemingly everywhere in Japan, and the country has an array of them. Yet, Motomachi also claims he has "no interest in the vending machine itself or its contents." The reason why he started this blog was he wanted to do something he could update daily, but that doesn't take up more than five minutes of his time.

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Each day, the vending machine does change, whether that's the weather or the time of day, the drinks, the advertisements, or even the vending machine's tech. For example, in 2008, this vending machine wouldn't take digital payments; however, starting sometime in 2009, it would. From that point, you can see an e-money reader on the machine.

However, each post has a dated image of the vending machine and is typically titled "変化なし" (henka nashi) or "no change". On the site, you can see the same machine in several photos taken on the same day in the past and compare.

The reason "no change" is the default is because noticing changes eats up Motomachi's time, he says, which ticks him off. Thus, Motomachi rarely titles his posts "プチ変化" (puchi henka) or "slight change". But when does, watch out, because he'll catalog things like drink changes and placement. Sometimes, he'll note sticker changes, too.

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It really falls on the reader to notice all the little changes! And those small changes seem even bigger. Have a look:

Illustration for article titled The Most Obsessive Vending Machine Blog Ive Ever Seen
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Illustration for article titled The Most Obsessive Vending Machine Blog Ive Ever Seen
Illustration for article titled The Most Obsessive Vending Machine Blog Ive Ever Seen
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Illustration for article titled The Most Obsessive Vending Machine Blog Ive Ever Seen
Illustration for article titled The Most Obsessive Vending Machine Blog Ive Ever Seen
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And here is the site's Flicker page:

Illustration for article titled The Most Obsessive Vending Machine Blog Ive Ever Seen
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I take a picture of the vending machine every day (or so). I'm very sorry. feels like a brilliant running gag. There's no need to be sorry. Carry on, Motomachi, carry on.

私は毎日(のように)自動販売機の写真を撮っています。こめんなさい。 [Official Site]

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

katemoore
Kate Moore (chiisaisuzume)

This is one of those things that...I think the longer it goes on, the more interesting it potentially becomes! Sort of an, I don't know what you'd call it, artefact record? But recorded in real time, so that the overall result shows scope—and things that many people might not notice on a day-to-day basis (currency acceptance not being one of these) become more obvious in hind sight. Now, you could argue that who's running an advert doesn't matter historically or culturally, but it does. I love exploring abandoned houses, for example. It's really wild to see logos from 20 years ago—or finding a brand of something that doesn't even exist any more. It's one useful means of dating the site (the most fascinating place I'd ever been through had a history spanning about 100 years and had been abandoned for roughly 10), but there's also nostalgia for those who have seen it—discovery for those who haven't. In a way, this feels like a microcosm of that.