In Hokkaido where I live, the winters are harsh and the snows are deep. At times, everyday movement can become inconvenient, dangerous. It is then that I again become appreciative of my local vending machines. Even amidst half a meter of snow, I know I can get a fresh yet warm drinks very close by. When I hold a still-hot bottle that I have just bought from a vending machine, my worries fall away. It might be a peculiar mentality of the Japanese or just of myself, but after 5 years of photographing vending machines, I have finally come to see them not as intrusive but as something else: symbols of security and dependability, comforting as a familiar friend.