In the sprawling, concrete surroundings of Japan’s cities — or even amidst the rice fields that cover a lot of the countryside — the vending machine is an ever-present sight. And in June, when rainy season uncomfortably dampens the capital, clear vinyl umbrellas are just as ubiquitous.
But genuine characters combining the two, are sadly nowhere near as common.
Or is it actually more akin to a cuddle?
At one time this kitchen was part of a shop — hence its open to the street setup. An old-style deli along these lines being one possibility. But that was clearly an awfully long time ago, and now it is simply used as a regular cooking space. But while regular may perfectly describe its usage, it in no way describes its appearance.
Just like the fax machine in Japan, the flip phone soldiers on. Happily forgoing decent photos and a huge degree of functionality in fantastically stubborn style.
Despite the red light, these fellas were after nothing more unseemly than a quick sit down and some sustenance. But as well as food, they obviously like a bit of atmosphere; something this alleyway has in abundance. So much in fact that it almost feels like another world when compared to the chain restaurant clogged main street a mere few metres away.