Friday, November 09, 2007


In Japan, many things change to suit the winter season. Air conditoner turns to air heater, coffee tables become kotatsu (a cross between a table, a sleeping bag and an electric heater), and vending machines everywhere start selling a range of heated, nay hot, beverages.

Walking to school yesterday I saw this empty can of soup perched on a wall. Oshiruko is a soup made from sweet adzuki beans and is often eaten during the winter months. This vending machine version offers real beans inside (つぶ入り)and claims to have a home-made flavour or feel to it (手作り風), which explains the picture of the old lady.

I am no fan of the adzuki bean. Although a Brit, and a big a fan of Baked Beans with my full English breakfast, the sweet adzuki bean is not something I have taken to at all. The texture and the sweetness seem at odds with eachother, but it is as unavoidable in everyday life here as green tea (a drink with which adzuki based snacks are often served and which I do like).

So have courage to venture out on those cold winter days. A stomach warming, hand warming beverage of your choice is available now at the vending machine near you.... if you happen to be in Japan.

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