Epic tale about a disappearing machine comes with a twist ending.

Japanese vending machines are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to purchase a drink in Japan. That is, unless you’re Twitter user 606 (@bumwings).

Last month, they headed out to their local vending machine in Hokkaido to buy a bottle of Gungun Guruto, a milk-based lactic acid drink by Asahi that’s similar to Yakult. However, there was nothing convenient about this machine, because although the buttons and coin slot were visible, the tray where they’d have to retrieve the drink was hidden behind a mountain of snow.

“Can’t buy Gungun Guruto.”

That was back before Christmas, on 20 December, and that’s where our tale begins, as 606 returned four days later, on Christmas Eve, to provide an update:

“All this time, I haven’t been able to buy Gungun Guruto.”

By this stage, 606’s tweets had attracted a huge amount of interest online, and now thousands of people were personally invested in this Twitter user’s plight to buy Gungun Guruto from the machine. However, it wasn’t going to be an easy task, because the day after Christmas, things were beginning to look worse.

“Couldn’t buy Gungun Guruto today either.”

On 28 December, however, the snow receded slightly, offering 606, and the rest of us, a glimmer of hope.

“I couldn’t buy Gungun Guruto today, but I’m starting to see signs that a purchase might be possible.”

This continued for the next three days, but alas, the snow stayed put, keeping the tray door off limits. 606 then spent a few days indoors, working on their digital music tracks on YouTube, before venturing out again 3 January, when it looked like things were on the rise again.

“It’s becoming less possible to buy Gungun Guruto.”

The following day looked just as bad, and then on 4 January, everyone began to wonder if there’d ever be a happy ending to this story.

“I couldn’t buy Gungun Guruto today, and moreover, the situation is becoming worse.”

Things were getting bleaker by the day, with this update on 5 January.

 “I couldn’t buy Gungun Guruto today either. I’m ashamed of my lack of foresight a few days ago.”

The change in conditions over just a few days was certainly dramatic, and the worst was yet to come, with 12-13 January proving to be two of the bleakest days of the whole saga.

 “I may never be able to buy Gungun Guruto ever again.”

Then, on 15 January, everything went dark, as the glow of the machine was swallowed up entirely by snow.

If we hadn’t seen it there beforehand, we’d never be able to tell there was a vending machine buried beneath this mountain of snow.

After a couple of days of being totally concealed, a faint glow re-emerged on 17 January.

The light shone a little brighter on 18 January, and then, on 19 January, the snow was suddenly cleared and the vending machine was finally free!

Just as people around the country began to rejoice, they stopped for a moment and did a double-take, because the photo above shows…a drink that isn’t Gungun Guruto. Instead of grabbing that sweet bottle of lactic acid that everyone had been cheering for, pictured fifth and sixth from the left in the bottom row of the machine, 606 was now holding… a bottle of Dodekamin Strong???

Twitter users immediately fired up with:

“Wha…wha…what happened?”
“Well, that was a twist I didn’t see coming!”
“Omg this ending made me laugh out loud!”
“Gungun Guruto is crying!”
“You deserve to drink whatever you want — thanks for the hard work!”
“If you think about it, Dodekamin is the correct choice!”

Considering the dark streets travelled and the freezing conditions encountered in this epic plight to use the machine, an energy drink like Dodekamin does seem to be a more fitting choice for this triumphant occasion.

According to 606, though, the reason why they chose Dodekamin over Gungun Guruto is a little less deep, if you’ll excuse the pun, as they say they’ve simply got a lot of Yakult in the fridge.

Regardless of the drink they ended up with, we’re just happy the story of the snow-bound vending machine had a happy ending. It just goes to show that these machines can weather the harshest conditions, and even live on to become charming relics…long after the lights stop working.

Source: Twitter/@bumWings via Jin 
Top image: Twitter/@bumWings
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