While enjoying my dinner in a nearby Tokyo food court, I spied an older gentlemen smoking what appeared to be a conspicuous metallic cigar. Upon further introspection I ascertained this to be 「電子タバコ」--better known as electronic cigarettes or "vape" to English-speakers. I had heard of ecigs before, but always thought they simply burned the tobacco using an electric heating element. Instead, this man was exhaling rapidly-evaporating fog--giving off a contradictory image of both James Bond the cool smoker and James Bond the medical device-using asthma patient. What entranced me the most was that he wasn't polluting the surrounding area with cigarette smoke. His foggy respiration was virtually scentless and dissipated almost instantly, which is why "smoking" ecigs is more accurately called "vaping."
I personally don't share in Japan's affection for smoking, as the fumes bother others in the area. However, vaping appears to be a welcome compromise for this tobacco-loving country. If the fine people of Japan could smoke to their hearts' content without bedeviling adjacent non-smokers (like me), then everybody wins. We'd be one step closer to achieving that utopian fantasy we've always dreamt about.
The equipment abounds, but what's up with the e-liquid?
As any Rakuten search will tell you, vaping equipment is readily available for purchase in Japan. The only issue that reverberates on Japanese review sites and forums is how to obtain e-liquid that contains nicotine. Unfortunately, all of the e-liquid offered through standard Japanese web channels is of the zero nicotine type. While that may appeal to those looking to completely eliminate nicotine from their smoking routine, it's a bummer for those seeking a vape nicotine fix to replace the one they get from analog cigarettes. After some research I discovered some overseas vaping vendors that ship to Japan. They offer both nicotine e-liquid as well as various other vaping equipment.
Apollo is a well-known e-cigarette brand based in the United States that ships to global destinations, including Japan. They offer a wide variety of vaping equipment under their own brand name, as well as various flavors of e-liquid in 3 nicotine levels.
Freeman Vape Juice
Freeman Vape Juice is a respected USA-based vape juice and equipment vendor that ships to Japan. They offer an incredibly wide selection of flavors, including sweet fruity flavors and dessert varieties. Their juice is high-quality made in the USA.
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