. Govt & Education
vending machines .
While Tokyo is the ultimate get-anything-you-want city in every respect, alcoholically speaking there are just four drinks that mean anything: beer, whiskey and water, sake and shochu (basically a Japanese vodka, usually consumed as "chuhai," that is, vodka tonic). The Japanese make all of them well (though Johnnie Walker Black is the most prized whiskey). Perhaps the one alcoholic beverage Japan has yet to manufacture with much skill is wine. While Tokyo is growing incrementally more attuned to the most refined of libations, with the better department stores adding decent cellars of usually overpriced imports, this remains a very un-winey metropolis. Perhaps the atmosphere of contemplation, conversation and relaxation that surrounds a good wine just doesn't mesh with Tokyo's neon-charged psychescape.