Kirin Lemon Strong, 8% alcohol. It’s terrible. Like lemon-flavoured paint thinner. Bought on my first night in Tokyo. This is Chuhai, a sort of only-in-Japan wine-cooler type beverage made with Shochu, which is distilled from Rice, Barley, or Potatoes depending… Chuhai comes from “Shochu Highball”, which is basically a mixed drink made with Shochu. I really dig these chuhai beverages, but this one with the amped up alcohol and chemical lemon taste? No good.

White-Grape flavoured soda at Mos Burger. Really tasty!

“Organic Orange Juice” J-BIO. Tasted awful, like under-ripe oranges. Sitting next to a piece of cheese-twisty-bread. What is the most prominent flavour in the cheese-twisty-bread? If you answered “wasabi/hot mustard”, you’d be correct. Worst breakfast.

Later in the trip, on the way to Sapporo actually, Andrew woke up in the morning and had a regular-strength Kirin lemon chuhai. This was our go-to beverage for the trip, and it treated us very well. Refreshing, with a hint of tipsy.

Asahi Presents: Fruits Party Chuhai! Tastes like muscat (green grapes). Next to it is “Gyoza Flavoured Hokkaido Potato Chips.” Behind it evidence of the more than 20 hours of work I did on Beguiling stuff while on vacation for three weeks.

This is a drinks case in the far corner of the food bazaar underneath Sapporo JR Station. This is the only place in Japan I saw A&W root beer!

This drink case is in the 7-11 attached to the Post Office near Sapporo JR station. In the center near the bottom, you can see two bottles of Rei Ayanami-branded Cafe Latte, clearly the best-selling drink of the day.

Nother shot of the cold UCC Cafe Latte with sexy Rei on it. These are all cold coffees, usually with milk in them. Milk and preservatives.

This was in Kyoto. We ended up staying in a budget hotel right near the manga museum, with lots of residences (and hotels) around. Just north of our hotel was this little scene, 2 vending machines in the outer lobby of an apartment building, with another across the street. Lighthouses that dot the city, guiding thirsty travelers through the urban seas.

Only 100 yen! Deal!

After walking under the blazing sun in Shirahama on Izu for basically three kilometres with no breakfast, I managed to convince my husband that we needed to eat. My increasingly cranky mood may have tipped the scales. We ended up going to the first restaurant we saw, which happened to be a Nagisa beer-themed restaurant, with western meals and really great beer, all-natural, totally unlike the Japanese beers we’d been drinking. Andrew had a pizza for lunch, I had pasta alfredo. It was just us, two sweaty white guys, and tons of Japanese house-wives, all getting lunch. My mood improved considerably after lunch, and I heartily recommend Nagisa Beer.

Our at a proper supermarket in Shirahama, with tons and tons of drinks. Awesome. ┬áNot more selection, but definitely an impressive display! Let’s go in for a closer look.

I bought this Collagen Water, because I heard that it was a thing but I had never seen it on store shelves in Canada. It’s a little like drinking watery lube, with a hint of lemon. So no, I do not recommend it.

In Japan the word “diet” refers to Japanese parliament, and not eating specific kinds of food. So there is no ‘diet coke’ for the most part. They’ve got Coke Zero, which is still Coke Zero, but Diet Coke is called a bunch of different stuff. Currently, it’s No Calorie Coca-Cola Plus! This was a limited edition Coca Cola Plus, with added green tea flavouring. It tasted nothing like green tea, but for a diet coke addict in a country without diet coke… It was basically methadone for my heroin problem.

This is the awesomest canned coffee, BOSS COFFEE RAINBOW. So far as I can tell it tastes like all of the other canned coffees, but it is called BOSS and it has that dude on it, and also a rainbow.

Asahi Cocktail Partner! Made with real fruit juice, and perhaps Vodka! I think vodka rather than chuhai in this one? We tried one, I couldn’t really tell the difference.

The only place in Japan that you CAN get Diet Coke (okay, so I fibbed earlier), is Mickey Ds. While this is basically the size of a Large Coke in North America, in Japan it’s such a freakish size that it comes in a one-piece, sealed container for easy transport back to your home, because you’re clearly not drinking it while out. Japan!

- Chris


4 Comments on “Random Japan: Drinks”

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  1. Al aka El Negro Magnifico says:

    Oh, man…you’re killing me with these drink photos. All I need is a vending machine with an endless supply of orange Qoo or Kirin Lemon.

  2. Bitter Matt says:

    I like the “Blendy” in the 8th photo. Mmmmm, blendy.

  3. Tim O'Neil says:

    William Faulkner flavored coffee? I don’t drink coffee, but I’m sold on that beverage.

    Just like they drink down in Yoknapatawpha County.
    By the way, really good post. Can’t wait for the next one!

  4. Nathan says:

    dude! you really need to try ???????

    love japan, need to go back again~!

    summer there looks awesome!

    I always end up there in winter because of the timing of the holidays in the southern hemisphere…

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