Nihon no Cider (Japan Cider)

Brand: Cherio Cost: 100 yen Found At: Vending Machine – Kyoto Cherio vending machines are their own special creature. Not least because they are often fiendishly difficult to locate - not as ubiquitous as the Kirin, Asahi, Suntory, or Boss machines that you can find outside any apartment complex, train station, or four-way traffic stop.... Continue Reading →

Earl Grey Tea

Brand: 7-11 Premium Cost: 100 yen Found At: 7-11 When I bought this, I did not know what it was. This is the great danger of the Japanese foreign-word phonetic alphabet: without spaces or accents or kanji characters, it can sometimes be very hard to parse what is being spelled. Emil often complains to me... Continue Reading →

B B Sparkling

Brand: Chocola Cost: 144 yen Found at: Ministop When I first came to Japan ten years ago, there was a huge ad campaign around B.B. Sparkling in which they claimed that drinking it would make you beautiful. For several years, I was sure that this could not possibly be true and that I was misremembering... Continue Reading →

Kirin Lemon

Brand: Kirin Cost: 150 yen Found At: Vending Machine This fizzy drink spared no time in bubbling over. As sparkling water splashed everywhere, I was gripped by the urge to yell “Champagne for everyone!” at the group of schoolchildren walking by. Like most carbonated beverages in Japan, this one does not skimp on the bubbles.... Continue Reading →

Jasmine Tokuchya (“Special Tea”)

Brand: Suntory Cost: 183 yen Found At: Family Mart I’m not sure if this “special tea” is a new thing or if I just haven’t noticed it until now, but either way, I have suddenly started seeing this tea everywhere. A clue as to why came from my Japanese co-worker, who admitted to paying 30-50... Continue Reading →

Clear Espresso and Milk Latte

Brand: Asahi Cost: 117 yen Found At: Mini Stop Suggested by: Spencer Wharton When Spencer suggested this, I assumed that this was a weird gimmicky drink that I would only find on the Asahi factory tour. So, when I told him I would look out for it, I felt safe in the knowledge that I... Continue Reading →

Salty Litchi

Brand: Kirin; Sekai no Kitchen (World Kitchen) Cost 154 yen Found At: Family Mart For too long have I been ruled by fear. I have looked at the salty litchi drink on the shelves of my local convenience store and said: “not for me.” I have let my preconceived notions, made in ignorance, be my... Continue Reading →

Honeysuckle Water (Hascap Water)

Brand: Iroha Cost: 129 Yen Found At: Nagoya Station Platform Bellmart Let me set the scene: It’s hot. The still, humid heat of Japan in June. You are standing on the train platform waiting for an express train to take you to an afternoon of being outside in the hot sun. You go to take... Continue Reading →

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