A little bit of history gone forever as Kirin puts an end to a beloved mainstay.

We all love a weird and wonderful Japanese vending machine find, and so far we’ve oohed and ahhed over gems that dispense flying fish soup stock, insects, hot noodles and even origami.

Now it’s time to farewell one we’ve just discovered, and it’s been touching people’s hearts with its retro charm for decades. Twitter user @jihataku recently shared a video of the weather-worn machine, which serves up hard-to-find old-style glass bottles of Kirin soft drink, and the short cliip quickly racked up thousands of likes and retweets.

Set up beside a soba shop at Nakanohigashi Station in Hiroshima Prefecture, the vending machine has an old-school operating system that differs from the shiny, modern vending machines we’re more used to seeing today.

▼ First, pop the money into the coin slot…

▼ Open the narrow glass door on the left and take out a bottle of drink…

▼ Crack the lid off the bottle with the bottle opener on the machine…

And you’ve got yourself a refreshing thirst quencher in a cold glass bottle…all for the super low price of 90 yen (US$0.83)!

Twitter users were enthralled by the machine, leaving comments like:

“Omg you don’t see these machines anymore! Lucky you found one.”
“You get to open the door, pull out a bottle and then crack the lid on the machine – so much more interaction than modern machines!”
“I hope I get to experience one of these someday.”
“I thought you could only get these bottles at fancy ryokan inns!”
“For some reason this whole process makes the drink look extra refreshing!”

While @jihataku estimates the machine to be roughly 70 years old, the metal contraption is set to go into involuntary retirement at the end of the year as Kirin will no longer be producing the bottles that fit into the machine.

It’s sad news for lovers of retro Kirin bottles and old vending machines everywhere, but hopefully one day it’ll be revived to serve people on the streets of Japan once again, much like the retired train that lives on as a canned coffee vending machine in Tokyo.

Source, featured image: Twitter/@jihataku
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