Precious manna

The red vending machine there, tucked away in an obscure back alley of Kyoto, has the distinction of being, so far as I can tell, the only place in Japan where you can buy Diet Coke. Like a colony of red ants being wiped out by their black cousins, Diet Coke has become the victim of a violent pogrom which has seen its place in Japan usurped by the darkly-packaged Coke Zero, which is much too sweet for human consumption. I kinda liked Japanese Diet Coke — like most foreign variants, it never seemed to switch over to Nutrasweet from saccharine, which I honestly prefer. Not simply because it takes less sickly-sweet, but also because I take comfort in knowing the specific toxic properties of my carcinogens.

Anyway, I was gonna pour one out on the curbside for O.G. Diet Coke, but that seemed wasteful. So I drank it instead. Even though I’m sure the only reason this machine still had it in stock is because it was so far out of the way that no one ever uses it, and the can in question probably dates back to the Koizumi administration. Or the Clinton administration, even.

8 thoughts on “Precious manna

  1. Hey, isn’t Diet Coke known as Coke Lite over there?

    Also… I used to drink Coke Zero. You’re right, though… it’s much too sweet, especially for Coca-Cola, which is supposed to have a spicy flavor.

    One more thing. Do they still have all those weird Japanese exclusives like Vegeta-Beta and Georgia Root Beer? I tried those at the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta a few years back and thought some of ’em were all right. They’re also featured prominently in the Super NES game Coca-Cola Cats/Do Lucky Softball League. And now, I’m rambling mindlessly.

  2. Hey, Parish, look on the bright side. My favorite soda is root beer, which is not to be found anywhere in Japan. I searched far and fucking wide. Turns out most Japanese (who’ve actually tasted the stuff) think it tastes like medicine. I wish I had some root beer flavored medicine.

    Anyways, the point is, at least you found Diet Coke, whereas I spent 2 months in Japan and never found a damn root beer.

  3. Far as I know, the only place in Japan that sells root beer is Costco. There happened to be one in Amagasaki next to Kobe that’d sell you Dad’s by the crate. The Japanese family that provided me with a few cans seemed so sure I would be overcome with their altruistic gesture. They were very nearly correct.

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