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Dream machines

In Japan you’re rarely more than a few paces from the nearest vending machine. There are more than five million of them, on street corners, station platforms, secluded hiking spots and historic temples. Spend a summer in Japan and you will be grateful for the ubiquitous presence of ice-cold soft drinks. Come late autumn, and chilled drinks turn to hot teas, coffees and soups. Drinks – soft and alcoholic – account for half of the machines, the rest offer ice cream, cigarettes, hot meals, even socks and razors, all fully stocked and…

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