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12 BEST JAPANESE DRINKS TO PUT ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST!

INSIDE: Everything you need to know about the best 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 sodas on the shelves in Japan.

The types of Japanese drinks names 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?

(if you are wondering what are some Japanese drinks to avoid, this would be one!)

What I do know is there is 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 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

image - milky tea

THE INSIDE SCOOP: THE BEST JAPANESE DRINKS TO TRY 

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

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 drink
  • 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 and Japanese drink brands 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, good Japanese drinks to buy as souvenirs and gifts! 

It’s the comprehensive guide on what to drink in Japan. 

RELATED: 34 Best Candies from Japan to Buy in 2021 (there’s some that taste like traditional Japanese Ramune Soda!)

japanese drinks vending machine by david pursehouse pic

Image credit: David Pursehouse via Flickr CC BY 2.0

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 only a small handful of change.

Try all the cool Japanese drinks quick smart! 

RELATED: Where to buy Japanese Drinks you need to put on your shopping list (in Japan AND online!) 

super lemon soda by david pursehouse

Image credit: David Pursehouse via Flickr CC BY 2.0

POPULAR JAPANESE SOFT DRINKS IN JAPAN

No.1: 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! 

Then one from this list of Japanese drinks soda:

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

Calpis Drink

The Calpis drink is another one to add to  your cool Japanese drinks list today.  It’s like a yoghurt flavored, unfizzy soda. 

Japanese people love it in the Summer! 

Look out for different flavors too. 

image - ramune peach soda

Most Popular Japanese Drinks for kids?

Ramune soda is the most popular soft drink in Japan. 

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

This Japanese kids drink come in a very uniquely-shaped glass bottle.

Inside the glass bottle is a marble, which helps to seal the bottle and keep the fizz inside. 

Trying to get the marble out of these Japanese bottled drinks is part of the fun! 

Japanese Drinks Ramune Soda

  • Lychee
  • Melon
  • Strawberry
  • Grape
  • Orange
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberry
  • Peach
  • Ramune Soda Yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit that takes like a cross between lemon and lime) 
  • Original

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

Drinking in Japan is great fun! 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!

Try one of these Japanese cold drinks: 

  • 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.

Start searching for these Japan soft drinks today! 

japanese drinks in the supermarket pic

Image credit: Janine via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.3: Japanese Fruit Drinks (Japanese juice drinks)

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 on the popular Japanese drink list 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 or Peach Coke
  • 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. This is a good Japanese drink for 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

JAPANESE ENERGY DRINKS

No.5: Japan Energy Drinks

You can safely bet that these energy drinks in Japan 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 Japanese canned drinks for size.

  • Kirin Power Water
  • Kirin Fire Coffee
  • Suntory Boss Coffee (Japanese iced 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 drinks in Japan 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

JAPANESE MILK DRINKS

No.7: Japanese Milk Tea 

Japanese milk tea is my favourite drink in Japan.

I drink bucketloads of these sweet Japanese drinks (and must walk miles to combat my intake!)

The cold Japanese milk teas are super sweet and I do worry a little about my sugar intake when sculling one down. They are my top choice of Family Mart drinks.

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, this milky Japanese drink costs 150 yen or less.

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

No.1: Milk Drinks in Japan

  • Suntory Strawberry Milk
  • Soy milk drinks
  • Kirin Milk Tea
  • Kocha Kaden Royal Milk Tea
  • Royal Milk Tea
  • Chocolate Japanese soy milk 
  • Sakura flavored soy milk (Cherry blossom flower)
  • Matcha soy milk (green tea powder)
  • Japanese plum soy milk (ume)

Japanese Soy milk flavors are found in a carton in the fridge section. 

image - japanese-royal-milk-tea

Hot tip: 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)

image - hot japanese coffee can by ajay suresh flickr

Image credit: Ajay Suresh via Flickr CC BY 2.0

No.8: Best Japanese Canned Coffee

Canned coffee in Japan is a real thing! 

Yes, you can buy a hot Japanese coffee can on the go.  

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

Or you can grab one of the Japanese vending machine coffee options.

These are the most popular hot Japanese coffee in a can: 

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

Try Japanese Canned Coffee for yourself and rate it!

Hot tip: Best Japanese Coffee Makers for Japanese Drip Coffee! 

Love your Japanese coffee, and want to make the real deal at home with a Japanese coffee machine?

Check out this drip style Japanese Coffee Maker by Zojirushi.  This one makes 10 cups.

Or if are looking for something a little smaller, this 5 cup Japanese coffee dripper is a good choice. 

hot japanese drinks pic by martin lewison

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

No.9: Japanese Tea Drinks

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

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

japanese matcha green tea 800

Image credit: Veřejná doména via Pxhere

No.10: 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.11: The Japanese Yogurt Drink

Strangely, the boys LOVE these yogurt drinks.

These cute Japanese drinks 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.12: 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
  • Try a Kirin beer, Asahi beer, Suntory beer or a Yebisu beer for less than 300 yen each!

Other traditional Japanese alcoholic drinks include:

  • beer
  • happoshu
  • umeshu plum wine 
  • chuhai canned drink – shochu highball made with Barley shōchū and carbonated water, flavored with lemon
  • shochu distilled drink made from sweet potato (imo-Jochu), barley (mugi-Jochu) or rice (kome-jochu)
  • Yuzushu liquor made from the yuzu fruit
  • Japanese whiskey

JAPANESE DRINK MANUFACTURERS 

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

  • Sangaria
  • Kirin
  • Asahi
  • Suntory
  • Sapporo
  • Calpis  by Asahi
  • 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 REVIEW

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

Click the blue links for more Tokyo tips below.

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