SKC Abroad: Japanese Soda Vending Machines

Vending machines. You’ve never really given them much though, have you? In America you see them occasionally scattered throughout malls, but in Japan you can’t walk a block without seeing at least two. Japan actually has the most vending machines per capita in this world, with one for every 23 people! And Japanese high-tech vending machines not only sell snacks and soda but also items as varied as beer, flowers, neckties, cigarettes, newspapers, and electronic games.
Literally everything imaginable.
On my trip to Japan, boy did I take advantage of these. Steering mainly clear of flowers and neckties, I focused on the drink machines. There are hot and cold drinks, sweet sodas and black coffee.  In case you need a bit of armchair travel, here are the eight best vending machine drinks you can find only in Japan!

**Top 8 Japanese Vending Machine Drinks**

1. Best Drink for the Tired Businessman: Canned Coffee
This amazing invention by the Japanese means that you can grab a can and go. The coffee is pre-brewed and ready to jolt your body with a shot of caffeine. There are all different types, too: milk coffee, 100% black coffee, sweetened, and unsweetened. BOSS, Fire, Georgia, Nescafe, are just some of the brands that you’ll see.

2. Best Family Drink for All Occasions: Ocha
Tea is essential to any Japanese household. The Japanese drink tea hot and cold with every single meal. The key to longevity perhaps? So naturally, having ocha as a choice in vending machine is absolutely necessary. On those sweltering hot summer days, all you want is a cold bottle of unsweetened ocha and gulp it down. Vending machines usually offer various types of ocha like green tea, brown tea, a mix of different Chinese teas too. Since it’s such a popular choice there’s always a plethora of options. Something that suits all.

3. Best Drink For the Sweaty Athletes: Pocari Sweat
It’s considered the most popular health drink in Japan, similar to Gatorade in terms of its function and taste. Slightly sweet but kind of diluted juice at the same time? You know what I’m saying? Maybe it’s a Japanese thing? Pocari Sweat comes in grapefruit flavor and is a light milky color. It’s marketed as the perfect sports drink to rehydrate you will electrolytes. Many people drink it when they’re sick too. It’s quite delicious and a perfect way to refuel you.

4. Best Drink For The Elegant City Girl: Gogo No Kocha
A translation of Gogo No Kocha would be “afternoon tea,” and this tea brand is just absolutely delicious. It has sweetened milk tea, sweetened black tea and one with lemon infusions… such a variety! I love the sweetened black tea because of its aromatic tea leaves and the hint of sugar that’s not at all too much. In other words, perfect for a stylish young woman!

5. Best Drink for the Bubbly Teenager: Momo No Tenensui
This beautiful description of the drink actually is the perfect name. Momo No Tenensui means “natural spring water from peaches.” Okay, I obviously did a terrible direct translation of it. But when kept in Japanese, the name just makes you think of a woody forest with trickling creeks and plump juicy peaches lying around in the wilderness. This soft drink is similar to Pocari Sweat in that it is just slightly sweet but this one exudes peachiness. It comes packaged with a cute pink label and absolutely adorable, not to mention delectable.

6. Best Pick Me Up Drink: Oronamin C
Packed with Vitamin C, this effervescent citrus drink is treated as a medicinal pick me up. Its almost like the Red Bull of Japan, minus the foolish amount of caffeine. When I was little I used to sneak into my grandma’s not-so-secret cupboard and steal an Oronamin C before lunch. Of course, I’d get caught every single time but by that time I had already guzzled this small bottle down. Then I felt super “genki,” or energized, just as the advertisements claim.

7. Best Drink for People Who Wanna Have Fun: Fanta
Wanta Fanta dont you want a wanta fanta?… Oh I’m sorry, is the song stuck in your head now? Though this fizzy soda didn’t originate in Japan, Fanta has come up with a number of creative flavors to sell in Japan. We all know the orange and grape variety but ever heard of melon cream, green apple, honey lemon, hip hop or moo moo white? The Japanese sell Fanta every where and though its similar to plain orange soda, it’s just somehow a little bit better. And when you try those fun, imaginative flavors, you’ll get hooked. Japan even offers a rendition of the root beer float with melon soda and vanilla ice cream. Fanta has recreated this with its melon cream variety–you’ve got to try it. Wanna be the next hot shot in soda flavors? Be my guest and start making concoctions!

8. Best Fruity Soda: CC Lemon
CC Lemon is a bubbly lemon drink that is so refreshing. The slight sour and tart quality makes you get it time and time again. CC Lemon claims that the 500 ml bottle has 70 lemons worth of vitamin c. That’s insane. I mean I don’t know about you but I would rather drink this lip-smacking CC Lemon than pucker up for 70 lemons…

Megumi Sasada is the BGSK Ambassador and Small Kitchen College newsletter and article writer. She’s a junior at Colby College in Maine and an avid food-blogging (Every Last Morsel), Food Network-watching, nutrition-conscious acapella singer.

Originally posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

4 Responses to “SKC Abroad: Japanese Soda Vending Machines”

  1. Phoebe

    October 18th, 2011

    What fun!! I want to try all of these! Please back me in your suitcase on your next trip!

  2. Links We Love Monday – Halloween Edition : College Cures | Everything College, No Prerequisites.

    October 24th, 2011

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  3. Stephen smith

    January 20th, 2014

    If anyone want to make the Vending Machine do visit to Miami Soda Vending Machines . They will serve you the best.

  4. sam smith

    January 21st, 2014

    South Florida Kosher Services can ensure you to make the Best Vending Machine for Schools, colleges, streets,etc.

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