• Saturday, March 16, 2019, Day 3
  • Temples #11 and #12
  • Mima, Japan
  • Weather: 35-45 degrees, strong winds with white clouds in blue skies
  • 14.2 Miles / 33.2 Total Miles

As I was scooping out the best view point for photographing a sampling of the ubiquitous Japanese vending machine, an elderly woman driving a small pick-up truck stops in front of the vending machines delaying the shot. She inserts coins into the machine and out clatters two drinks. She turns to face me for the first time and approaches. Without a word spoken she places one drink in my hand. She walks away being trailed by my shower of “Arigatōgozaimashita” (thank you.”). As a “henro” (pilgrim), the Japanese custom is to give “henros ” small gifts called “o-settai.” A “henro,” never refuses and always gracious accepts the “o-settai.”

The bottle drink was a superlative tea and milk blend with a drop of sweetness served hot. Yummy.

[This delightful encounter came about because my sister-in-law requested photos of the infamous Japanese vending machines,]

  1. O-Settai
  2. Vending machine’s setting
  3. Vending machine’s selections

8 thoughts on ““O-Settai””

  1. The woman who presented you with the gift of hot tea, looks like she’s expecting Winter weather any second–and why the mask over her mouth?


    1. Hi Pam. Many, many Japanese wear face masks outside their home…walking, driving, shopping, etc.
      It’s nippy. I could have used my down jacket. Instead I wear more and more layers. It’s amazing I have anything left in my pack to carry. ~Linda


  2. Linda, I have read about these super vending machines and now I get to visit one vicariously through your travels. Hope you are staying warm as it looks a bit chilly in Japan. Your pictures have been fantastic. Thanks for sharing your adventures.


    1. Hi Mary. Trial and error. Today I learned the beverages priced in red print are hot while the ones priced in blue are cold. Fortunately I was the second person to make the purchase so did I go for red or blue on a chilly day? But of course, red. Warmed my hands. ~Linda


      1. Yes, I think the red beverage would be a better choice. However when walking long distances a little chilly is better than hot, there are only so many clothes you can take off! I loved the futons from your posts this morning. They look very comfortable. The room is very spare but still contains everything you need. Have you had any interesting food?


      2. Tonight I was served a mixture of chicken, mushrooms, red and green peppers in a broth served in an individual chafing pan over fire. I cooked it at the table. Lots on wonderful fish and so fresh. Fish for breakfast and dinner. I don’t ask questions about the food as not knowing the Japanese language makes it complicated. Food is always displayed artistically. ~kinda


  3. Okay, so I am belatedly catching up on your latest adventure, Linda. I am fascinated by the roadside vending machines and love the story of the “o-settai” offered by the woman. What a delightful tradition.


    1. Hi Jay. I know you are a big dog lover. Dogs appear to be of the Heinz 57 variety with the occasional breed. Dogs are leashed for walks or are tethered close to homes. I was upset to see one dog tethered to an old heavy bicycle. He wasn’t going to drag that bike very far. ~linda


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