Unique photo series tries to capture Japan through the loneliest of its 5.5 million-plus vending machines

PIC BY EIJI OHASHI / CATERS

This unusual photography series celebrates the strange beauty of some of Japan’s most strangely placed VENDING MACHINES.

The dreamlike images feature vending machines that illuminate rural roadsides under the shadow of Mount Fuji; are buried under mounds of snow; and look like an item may never have even been purchased from them, given how remote they are.

They are part of a project called “Roadside Lights,” which, photographer Eiji Ohashi said, looks to show the lonely appearance of modern people through such machines.

PIC BY EIJI OHASHI / CATERS

PIC BY EIJI OHASHI / CATERS

PIC BY EIJI OHASHI / CATERS

Since he first started photographing vending machines nine years ago, Eiji, 62, a native of Japan, estimates that the total number of vending machines he has photographed has now reached into the hundreds.

There are more than 5.5 million vending machines dotted across Japan – some offering more than just drinks and quick snacks.

Some of the machines Eiji photographed as part of this ongoing series contained the likes of flowers and fresh produce.

Eiji said: “I found the locations of the vending machines using information from a friend and Google Street View.

PIC BY EIJI OHASHI / CATERS

PIC BY EIJI OHASHI / CATERS

“What I want to tell is the lonely appearance of modern people through the appearance of a vending machine shining by the road.

“I believe that vending machines spread in this way in Japan because Japan is a safe country. Another reason is that Japanese people are citizens pursuing convenience.”