This vending machine offers you a choice between Marlboros and…Marlboros. It could be a glimpse of some horrible apocalyptic future in which the only beer left on Earth is Miller Light and the only mayo is Miracle Whip, or it could be the latest example of a popular Japanese advertising trend: make the product stand out on the shelf by…buying up all the shelves.
This is the first time I’ve seen a one-product vending machine, but whole subway cars and even whole trains are regularly taken over by ads from a single brand.
Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!