Drinks To Try This Summer   飲み物

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The traditional ramune bottle is part of the Japanese childhood

All distributors offer a wide selection of drinks.

All distributors offer a wide selection of drinks.

Japan in a bottle

It is true that Japan is known for it's sake, as well as beer after work. But it is especially known for its millions of vending machines and soft drinks. Here are a few tips to help you survive a Japanese summer.

Surprisingly enough, Japan does not consume that much Coca-Cola. The reason for this is that it already has numerous local drinks. Here are a few:

  • Ramune ラムネ

The first drink on our list can be none other than the famous Japanese soda, a very sweet favourite. Ramune can usually be found in its usual traditional bottle with a glass marble in the middle. Available in different flavors, it is definitely worth a try.

  • Amazake 甘酒

Even more traditional, this "sweet sake" is not an alcohol, but is also produced from rice. This sweet rice drink with a whitish appearance is drunk ice cold. Amakaze was highly appreciated by the travellers on the Tokaido Road back in the Edo period (1603-1868).

  • A soda for every season  ソーダ

Japan loves coming up with new flavors. Many brands will launch seasonal tastes, for example strawberry in March. You can also find Fanta or Schweppes in grape, lychee, apple, strawberry, plum, and cherry flavors. Some may want to start collecting these as souvenirs.

  • Non-alcoholic beer ノンアルコールのビール

Not to be confused with coolers, these "zero alcohol" beers  will challenge your taste buds. Kirin, Suntory, Asahi, Sapporo and other major breweries all sell their beer completely alcohol free, recognizable by their green bottles. They are not, however, served in vending machines.

  • Frappes and other energy drinks          コーヒーや栄養ドリンク

The Japanese are major consumers of beverages that will give them a boost to return to work. So do not be surprised to find a wide variety of coffees, hot or cold, in vending machines. There are also small energy drinks, similar to Red Bull, but containing only plants. Perfect to refresh and start afresh!

For lovers of tea, you will also find an impressive amount of cold, bottled green tea, that is still the best way to quench your thirst in summer.

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