Drinks of Japan

Find out about some of the most popular soft drinks and alcohols in Japan...

Alcoholic drinks

  • Beer: The main Japanese beer brands are Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Sapporo who produce lagers and seasonal speciality brands as well as stouts. Happoshu is a low malt beer, which is cheaper than regular beers
  • Sake: Sake refers to a type of wine made from rice. Sake is produced all over Japan and varies in taste and grade. It can be served either warm or cold
  • Shochu: A clear distilled spirit typically with a high alcohol content. It is usually served with ice or in tea or mixed with lemon juice
  • Japanese whisky: Despite not having a good international reputation, Japanese whisky is beginning to win a better reputation locally
  • Japanese wine: As Japan does not have the climate to grow grapes, Japanese wine is mainly used for cooking or as cheaper table wines

Soft drinks

Many speciality herbal teas are popular in Japan including: Green teas, Genmaicha (a green tea with brown rice), Kuzuyu (a thick herbal tea) and Sakurayu (made from pickled cherry blossom).

Soft drinks include: Amazake, a traditional, sweet drink made from fermented rice; Calpis, an uncarbonated soft drink which has a milky flavour; C.C. Lemon; Qoo, a non-carbonated drink made by Coca-Cola, which is grape or orange flavoured; Pocari Sweat, a popular sports drink and Yakult, a Japanese pro-biotic milk-like product.