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THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO BEST JAPANESE DRINKS LIST

INSIDE: Everything you need to know about good Japanese Drinks in Japan.  

You could spend a whole year drinking a different drink in Japan each day, and it’s likely you still wouldn’t have tasted all the Japanese drinks and Japanese sodas on the shelves in Japan.

The Japanese drinks you can try range from the ordinary to the outrageous!

Take Tomomasu Alien Energy drink for instance. This Japanese alien energy drink is full of vitamins and power from outer space! Or so they say.

And then there’s Pocari sweat.

Have you tried it? (THAT Japanese drink will never touch these lips again.)

What I do know is there’s a Japanese drink to suit every kind of personality and tastebud.

Take a look at our guide to both famous Japanese drinks, and the not so famous but arguably the best Japanese drinks, below! 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. Image credit: Toshiyuku Imai via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

japanese drinks vending machine by david pursehouse pic

Image credit: David Pursehouse via Flickr CC BY 2.0

GUIDE TO THE BEST JAPANESE DRINKS LIST 

We’ve searched high and low to bring you the most comprehensive list of Japanese drinks in the country.

We’ve categorised them by:

  • Japanese sodas
  • Japanese Fanta
  • Japanese fruit drinks
  • Japanese Coca Cola
  • Japanese energy drinks
  • Japanese sports drinks
  • Japanese milk drinks, and
  • Japanese tea drinks. (All the Japanese non alcoholic drinks first.)
  • Then, Japanese alcohol.
  • The rest fit in the ‘other’ category!

We’ve also listed our favourite Japanese drinks manufacturers you can trust to create fabulous flavors – just in case you come across a Japanese drink that’s not listed here and wonder whether or not to try it.

Plus, all the popular Japanese drinks, and our number one drink in Japan.

Hot tip: Japanese Vending Machine drinks

Unlike most countries, you can pick up a drink from a Konbini Japanese convenience store anywhere in Japan, or from one of the abundant drink vending machines found on every street corner in Japan, for less than 150 yen.

It’s a handful of change.

Try them all!

super lemon soda by david pursehouse

Image credit: David Pursehouse via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.1: Popular Japanese Drinks for kids – Japanese Sodas 

Japanese soda come in all the flavors.

But a melon-flavored Japanese carbonated drink should be the first one you try.

Followed by any one of the super lemon fizzy drinks! 

These fizzy Japanese drinks are much loved by kids, AND also many adults in Japan.

Variety of Japanese Drinks soda 

  • Melon Soda by Sangaria
  • Smooth Melon Cream soda by Sangaria
  • Crushing Melon Soda by Sangaria
  • Pineapple Soda
  • Musk Melon Cider
  • White Peach Cider
  • Mango Cider
  • Watermelon Cider
  • Melon cream soda
  • Japanese lemonade
  • Japanese lemon soda

BUY NOW ON AMAZON: Japanese Ramune Soda Drinks in 8 flavors

japanese fanta pic

Image credit: Tenaciousme via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.2: Japanese Fanta

I’ve never seen so many Fanta flavors in one place.

At one can a day, you’ll be guzzling Japanese Fanta flavors for a total of 79 days!

  • Fanta Melon soda
  • Fanta Melon Cream soda
  • Fanta orange soda
  • Fanta green apple soda
  • Fanta pink grapefruit soda
  • Fanta Yogurt Banana soda
  • Fanta Lemon Soda
  • Fanta Okinawa shikuwasa fruit flavor
  • Fanta Golden Grape soda
  • Fanta White Peach soda
  • Lychee Fanta
  • Tangerine Fanta
  • Nashi Fanta
  • Tropical Yogurt Fanta (!)

I’m determined to try Hip Hop Fanta, and Fanta Fun Mix sounds like a winner.

But Mystery Fanta is like a grown up version of a treasure hunt.

Let’s go find it!

japanese drinks in the supermarket pic

Image credit: Janine via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.3: Japanese Fruit Drinks (Japanese juice)

If you look at the range of beverages in a Japanese vending machine, you’ll notice a bunch of Japanese fruit drinks front and centre. These Japan drinks make a  nice change when you don’t want fizzy drink.

  • Nectar Peach
  • Kirin World’s Kitchen Salty Lychee
  • Kirin World’s Kitchen Berry Vitamina
  • Kirin Vegetable Juice
  • Suntory Gokuri Smooth Grape Juice
  • Gokuri juice in Funwari peach or grapefruit
  • Japanese melon drink
  • Lotte Milke peach

These are also top Japanese drinks for kids. 

japanese cola by miki yoshihito

Image credit: MIKI Yoshihito via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.4: Japanese Coca Cola Flavors

Japanese Coca Cola comes in a few different tastes but no where near as many combinations as Japanese fanta.

Try Coca Cola Life for a sugar-free treat.

  • Coca Cola Lime
  • Coca Cola Clear Lime
  • Coca Cola Lemon and vitamin c, a seasonal variety of Coke
  • Coca Cola Orange
  • Coca Cola White Peach
  • Coca Cola Zero
  • Coca Cola Vanilla
  • Coca Cola Life, sweetened with stevia leaf extract for better health!

You can also find many different versions of Pepsi Cola including special Japanese blend Pepsi, and Pepsi Zero.

Look out for Sakura Pink Cherry Blossom Coca Cola when the cherry blossom season approaches. 

image - japanese-drinks-kirin-beer-pic-david-pursehouse-flickr

Image credit: David Pursehouse via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.5: Japanese Energy Drinks

You can safely bet that these Japanese energy drinks are best sellers.

The Japanese work ethic is such that many employees must work their bums off – long hours, little sleep – so a caffeinated drink or two might be the only way to get through the day!

Try these coffee/caffeine infused drinks for size.

  • Kirin Power Water
  • Kirin Fire Coffee
  • Suntory Boss Coffee
  • Pepsi Refresh Shot

japanese drinks pocari sweat pic

Image credit: James Trosh via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.6: Japanese Sports Drinks

These are the most popular Japanese drinks for post exercise, and as an afternoon pickup.

  • Aquarius and Aquarius vitamin sports drinks to replenish the electrolyte concentration after a sweaty workout
  • Pocari Sweat, a sports drink for post-exercise revival.

Pocari is an acquired taste! (Try it for yourself)

PIN 1 - japanese drinks vending machine pic

No.7: Japanese Milk Drinks & Japanese Milk Tea

Japanese milk tea is my favourite drink in Japan.

I drink bucketloads of the stuff.

The cold Japanese milk teas are super sweet and I do worry a little about my sugar intake when sculling one down.

The HOT Japanese milky tea comes in a can or a bottle with an orange lid.

These hot Japanese milk teas are the BEST invention I’ve ever come across.

Even better, they cost 150 yen or less.

I want to move to Japan just so I can have ready access to Hot Milk Tea (and Disneyland!)

Milk Drinks in Japan

  • Suntory Strawberry Milk
  • Soy milk drinks
  • Kirin Milk Tea
  • Kocha Kaden Royal Milk Tea
  • Royal Milk Tea

Canned Coffee in Japan

These Japanese hot drinks are a winner on the go! 

  • Boss Coffee Cafe au Lait
  • Boss Coffee Luxurious Sweet Blend
  • Boss Coffee Rainbow Mountain Blend

image - japanese-royal-milk-tea

Instant Royal Milk Tea sachets

The best thing about Japanese Royal Milk Tea is that you can buy it in a flavour sachet to enjoy Milky Tea at home.

Royal Milk Instant Tea Mix comes with 10 servings in a bag. 

I fill my luggage with the stuff!

BUY NOW ON AMAZON: Twin Pack Royal Milk Tea sachets (20 total)

hot japanese drinks pic by martin lewison

Image credit: Martin Lewison via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.8: Japanese Tea Drinks & Japanese Coffee

Hot or cold, a Japanese tea is always a treat.

  • Lipton Sakura Tea
  • Japanese peach tea
  • Japanese green tea
  • Barley tea (mugicha)

I also have it on good authority that the hot Japanese coffee (canned coffee) from a Japanese convenience store is not too shabby and at less than 150 yen, it’s a good enough substitute when you can’t find any fresh beans.

Try it for yourself and see. 

japanese matcha green tea 800

Image credit: Veřejná doména via Pxhere

No.9: Traditional Japanese Matcha Tea Ceremony

Visit a traditional Japanese shrine or temple and you’ll likely find an opportunity to enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.  Matcha tea is the unofficial National Drink of Japan (along with Sake). 

This is an authentic Japanese experience where you can observe the beauty of a Japanese tea ceremony.

It’s a careful, considered, thoughtful and spiritual task and I’d bet no-one is immune to the peace that this slowing down of life brings. There’s also health benefits.

Imbibing these traditional Japanese drinks is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

The tea ceremony matcha tea is an acquired taste, very different to a Japanese green tea bag, or a Japanese green tea you might enjoy in a local restaurant.

This green tea is strong and bitter, and best imbibed with a sweet wagashi treat or one or two tiny sugar balls called Konpeitō  Japanese sugar candy.

No.10: Other Japanese Drinks

Strangely, the boys LOVE these yogurt drinks.

They are kind of thick, and sickly sweet but with a tang.

japanese beer pic by thomas galvez

Image credit: Thomas Galvez via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.11: Traditional Japanese alcohol

We can’t list all the Japanese drinks without mentioning Japanese alcohol.

Enjoying a Japanese sake in a high end hotel bar, aka the Sofia Coppola-directed film Lost in Translation, featuring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, is a bucket list experience for many.

  • Japanese sake alcohol
  • Mitsuya cider
  • Other traditional Japanese alcoholic drinks including beer, happoshu, chuhai, shochu and wine.
  • Try a Kirin beer, Asahi beer, Suntory beer or a Yebisu beer for less than 300 yen each!

JAPANESE DRINK MANUFACTURERS 

The most popular Japanese beverage manufacturers, in no particular order, are:

  • Calpis
  • Sangaria
  • Kirin
  • Asahi
  • Suntory
  • Sapporo
  • Calpis
  • Itoen

Coca Cola and Nestle are the other major players in the Japanese drinks market.

We’d like to thank all these Japanese beverages companies for their commitment to making quirky and unusual Japanese drinks for committed “funsters” like us to try!

japanese drinks range by pixabay

Image credit: Christozavic

THE INSIDE SCOOP: Where to buy Japanese Drinks?

Japanese Supermarkets

A Japanese supermarket has the largest range at the cheapest prices.

(Click here for a list of Tokyo supermarkets.)

Japanese Convenience Stores

Japanese convenience stores such as Family Mart and Lawson also have a broad range of Japanese soda, Japanese milk tea, aloe drinks, Japanese canned coffee, carbonated soft drink, Japanese alcohol and Sake drink, and other weird Japanese drinks (as well as a huge range of Japanese food to go) but these are slightly more expensive than in a Tokyo supermarket.

If you are buying one Japanese drink, then buying from a Japanese convenience store is fine.

If you want to buy more than one Japanese drink, or one for the whole family, the difference adds up.

Read our guide to Family Mart Food and Drinks here

Japanese Vending Machines

A Japanese vending machine is the easy option.

You’ll see these on every street corner, and more.

Family restaurants in Japan

Enjoy a free Japanese tea or water with your meal at any Japanese restaurant, Japanese family restaurant, Donburi restaurant or Japanese curry house.

Japanese Temples & Shrines

Head to a traditional Japanese shrine or temple to enjoy a Japanese Tea Ceremony and try Japanese matcha tea with delicate wagashi sweets.

japanese drinks REVIEW

Looking to expand your knowledge of the best fun food in Japan?

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in yen, unless otherwise stated

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