If you’ve been to Japan or just watched Japanese movies and TV, you’re bound to have noticed that they have vending machines coming out the wazoo. Seriously, those things are everywhere! Head out to the deepest inaka (countryside) and you’re still bound to run across a random vending machine nestled in the greenery as though it’s been waiting its whole life just to slake your thirst. But with so many vending machines all over the place, drinks companies have had to get competitive, and reports from Twitter speak of a mythical machine that dispenses two for the price of one canned coffee! But just what sort of wizardry is this?

If I sound a little bit overexcited in this article, you’ll have to forgive me. I just love vending machines! In summer they dispense drinks so frosty cold they’ll burn your hands, and in winter they dispense drinks so toasty hot they’ll burn your…oh. Well, you get the picture! On my first visit to Japan the first thing I did once I arrived at Narita airport was buy a bottle of ice-cold Sokenbicha mixed tea from a nearby vending machine. It was the height of summer and that cold, refreshing, slightly bitter brew was my first taste of Japan. I also feel the cold like a hairless sphynx cat, so I tend to suffer in the winter. Being able to drop a few coins into a nearby vending machine and immediately procure a hot drink to warm my hands and esophagus really helps make everything bearable.

It’s not just drinks, either – you can buy canned corn potage, canned red bean porridge, canned ramen, and more from your convenient jihanki, and here’s another great thing about vending machines – they’re perfect for using up any leftover change! I used to collect my random ten yen coins and feed them all to the vending machine outside my apartment (I called him Rusty, and he was one of the older vending machines with less bells and whistles, but he dispensed a good barley tea).

▼ Alcohol-dispensing vending machines also exist, but nowadays you’ll need a special card to use one, and they’re usually always attached to or in front of a proper liquor store rather than hanging out on street corners.

© RocketNews24/Evie Lund

But back to the two for one coffee! When Twitter user @ktwit142 happened upon a vending machine that really goes the extra mile to make its patrons happy, he immediately posted about it on Twitter:

▲ “I thought this seemed a little odd, but it’s true – it really does give you two cans.”

As you can see in the above photos, vending machines have little plastic representations of whatever’s on sale, and in this case, it’s clearly showing two cans stacked on top of each other. Still, since there’s no “two for the price of one” sticker anywhere, our first thought was that it was probably just a mistake – perhaps two of the plastic can replicas got fused together in production and nobody noticed. But no, it’s actually the real deal! For the bargain price of 150 yen, (US$1.20)  ktwit142 got two coffees, which seem to have been stuck together with clear tape!

The coffee in this case is the cold canned variety, which makes sense – if tape were used to bind together two cans of hot coffee, it would probably make a sticky, melted mess. So much for my dreams of having one hot can of coffee to warm each hand! Still, netizens were both amazed and awestruck at this coffee gift from the vending gods, with many registering their approval in comments to the original tweet, and with one inquisitive mind wanting to know the exact location of the magical machine:

▼ “I’m dying of curiosity! Is this vending machine in Shimane Prefecture somewhere? Where exactly is it? I want to go and buy my own BOGOF coffee!”

▲ “In response to your question, it’s at the Drive-In Nihonkai in Hamada, Shimane Prefecture. Vending machine paradise!”

This one might be a little difficult to explain, so here’s a YouTube video! Behold the Drive-In Nihonkai! (Ooh, they’ve got canned ramen!)

But wait, it seems there’s more to this story. After being pressed by several rabid twitizens demanding to know why buy one get one free coffee wasn’t a countrywide vending machine feature already, the original poster admitted that there may have been some trickery involved…

▼ “Isn’t this a case of using the space allocated for bottles to stack extra cans? Seems to be some kind of trick at work here.”

▲ “Actually, I overheard a young woman ask the custodian about the extra coffee, and he wouldn’t say anything but just kept grinning. I suspect this chap taped the cans together himself and tampered with the machine!

That sounds like the cutest and most generous bit of trickery I’ve heard in a long while! For awesome vending machine deals, you might be better off checking out some of the older machines and hoping they’re serviced by twinkly coffee godfathers like the old custodian in this charming tale.

Source: Togech
Main Image: Twitter @ktwit142