Another marketing strategy is to sell certain varieties of Kit Kat only in some provinces. This way when people travel around Japan, they notice the specific varieties of the regions and even buy them as a present-souvenir for friends back home. This is the map of the different kinds of Kit Kat around Japan:
The most desired Kit Kat version in Japan (according to this poll) is the “yubari melon” flavor one.
The Yubari Melon (夕張メロン) Kit Kat is at the same time on of the most difficult varieties to get.
This one is a purple sweet potato (紅いも) variety that can only be found in Okinawa and Kyushu.
It looks like this other hamburger vending machine but it is a lot more “manual” and has several use modes. It’s something that can’t be explained, you have to watch the video:
Other posts about vending machines in Japan:
Some months ago a girl from Yokohama was so kind to send me a Polaroid ONE600 as a present, so that’s how my “analogization” process continued; a process that mysterious forces started in order to fight against my digital life. The first trip of my Polaroid was to the Ise shrine, where it took its first picture:
I love the colors it captures, the soft contrast and the feeling of having a physical photo in your hands seconds after taking the photo. The problem is that no more Polaroid films are being produced, it seems like Sumitomo bought the patents and has kept them in a forgotten drawer somewhere. My friend, Sara, still had some films that she bought some years ago and kept them in a fridge (it seems it is the best way to preserve films during long periods of time). A couple of photos turned out bad, most likely because the chemical components had “expired”, but the rest turned out pretty well:
Every year the Japanese people choose one kanji character that represents the society’s sentiment regarding the year that is coming to an end. The most voted character this year has been 絆 (kizuna, きずな), which means “bonds”, normally used when talking about the bonds and collaboration among people, friends, family… In this case it has been chosen to represent how united the Japanese people and the whole world have been when facing what happened 9 months ago in Tohoku.
Once the kanji of the year is chosen it is publicly announced by writing it in Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto.
A monk writing 絆 this morning
I’ve been to Kyoto many times, walking around its avenues, alleys and temples, but for some reason up until last Summer I had never visited the Arashiyama area and Sagano. It was an amazing walk, even under the rain of the typhoon that was passing through Japanese skies that day.
We crossed the bamboo forest hearing the wind opening its path through thousands of canes several meters tall, we drank tea in the house of a great Japanese actor of the beginnings of last century, we got lost in the endless stairs leading to temples, we looked for shelter in a souvenir shop when it started to rain heavily and we crossed Tenryu-ji temple where the most beautiful things are the garden and the pond that are hidden behind the honden (main building).
Matcha and some candy to recover energies in the middle of the day.
The best way to get to the area is using the JR Sagano line from Kyoto station until Saga Arashiyama station, it takes 15 minutes.
I had become quite attached to it but last month the moment arrived, I had to say goodbye to my beloved Nikon D90 that had been traveling the world with me for exactly 3 years. I felt comfortable with it from the beginning, it adapted to me before I had to worry about the details of its inner workings, it interceded the least possible between reality and what my eye and intuition wanted to capture. I learned a lot, I took pictures like these and I even published a book full of pictures of Japan taken with my Nikon D90 that you can get at Amazon.co.uk: Momentos (bilingual edition).
It will be soon replaced by my next digital camera, a Nikon D800, with which I will continue my adventure of learning how to photograph what happens around me. My D90 left, but left us these unforgettable moments: