Memory 50 Yen Soda Machines?!

Story Time: 50 Yen Soda Machines?!
The ever increasing prices in Okinawa


Okinawa.Org Staff
Dec 26, 2018
When I first arrived in Okinawa in 2006, I wasn't the most money-conscious person with paychecks on the 1st and 15th burning a hole in my pocket. But it was sure great finding a soda machine, be it Coca-Cola or Pepsi (as I loved switching it up with the Dew at times) or even the generic and local bottled sodas while walking under the blistering Okinawa sun for even 15 minutes.

If I recall correctly, a 500mL can of Coca-Cola or Pepsi ranged anywhere from 110 to 120 yen while the local brands were sometimes below 100 yen, but for the most part, 100 yen, even in PET bottles. Which I might add, Pepsi and Coke got away with charging 130 to 140 yen for a 500mL PET bottle.

So, it was a shocker to come across this beauty.

A soda machine with modestly priced water and generic soda at 50 yen a piece!

As we got closer to the Japanese consumption tax hike, I noticed that the generic sodas crept up to 110 and then 120 yen while Coca-Cola and Pepsi products are pushing the limits at 160 yen.

It's nice to see that there are some money-saving options out there for the thirsty on a trek through town. Though, I must add that this is most likely a privately owned machine stocked by the AEON Big Express supermarket, most likely to reduce customer lines for those that are just going in to purchase a drink or two and get back on the road, as it's right outside their doorway.

As far as the taste goes for "Cola", "Soda Lemon" and "Soda Lime", I don't know. I didn't have 50 yen on me to give it a taste test. Nevertheless, this machine is very close to home and I will follow up with a taste test on how close (or how far) they nailed the cola taste at least.

But, you can't beat a chilled bottle of water for 50 yen, that's for sure! Even indoors, I believe the lowest price is 58 yen plus tax.

Who else noticed inflation during their time in Okinawa or even off-island? :unsure:
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of Okinawa.Org.

island cyclist

Well-known member
Founding Member
Mar 26, 2020
Well, for me I notice that bag of chips that were originally 85 grams (maybe 90 for some brands) for 120 yen or a bit lower. Now we have 48 to 58 grams of chips for 69 yen or 59 yen.
I know bread used to be expensive, but even today its expensive, so in that regards the prices haven't changed much.
Bento boxes always seen to be at the 500 yen to 600 yen price and that was 40 years ago also.

Wish I would have taken pictures of Okinawa some 40 years ago. You folks wouldn't believe how poor it was.


Okinawa.Org Staff
Okinawa.Org Staff
Official Account
Dec 17, 2018
Wish I would have taken pictures of Okinawa some 40 years ago. You folks wouldn't believe how poor it was.
This is one problem that Okinawa.Org is trying to solve. Our solution was to implement a media gallery.

Even if you had taken those pictures at that time, they possibly could've faded, copy after copy.

With our media gallery, everything uploaded is not compressed and stays at its original dimensions so that years later it is print-ready, essentially preserving history, day by day in the present. It's another story if you share photos on social media as they are resized, already making them unsuitable for a 5"x7" print, and the image conditions deteriorate even more with compressing the image with lowering its quality on top of that.

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