Posts Tagged ‘ramune’

Ciders and ramune quench a thirst for nostalgia

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Ciders from around the country have been enjoying healthy sales.

Ciders from around the country have been enjoying healthy sales.

Fancy a gulp of curry lemonade? Or how about some refreshing salty cider? Sold in department stores and over the Internet, regionally produced cider and ramune are becoming increasingly popular with both people nostalgic for the past and young people who dig the look of retro ramune bottles and cider labels.

Japanese cider is a nonalcoholic drink similar to Sprite, while ramune, introduced to Japan in 1876, resembles the British version of lemonade (clear, not cloudy). For me, the drinks are indistinguishable in taste, but that certainly can’t be said for the plethora of locally made cider and ramune that have been popping up all over the country. According to Kyodo News, in January of this year there were 127 varieties of regionally produced soft drinks, 2.4 times the figure four years ago.

The fun thing about the boom is that each area has its own take on the classic summer drinks, introducing local ingredients and using local water that has its own distinctive taste. Take Hokkaido’s melon ramune, for instance, which tastes of locally grown akaniku (red meat) melons. And as the largest producer of wasabi in Japan, Shizuoka naturally produces a kick-ass wasabi-flavored ramune, which probably should be placed in the “drink if you dare” category.” There’s even a salt cider, useful in summer to help rehydrate the body, made in the salt-producing village of Okunoto in Ishikawa Prefecture.

In at least one case, the selling point of the product is spiritual. Hiyoshiyo Goukaku (Certain Success) Daruma cider is blessed at Shizuoka’s Tenshin Shrine and claims to ensure students who buy it success in entrance exams. Personally I don’t think they need to make any mystical claims, as the cute daruma bottle already had me sold.

According to MSN news, department stores last year did a brisk business in locally made cider and ramune, with the help of attractive natsukashi (nostalgic) displays during the summer months. This year, online retailer Rakuten has got some good offers on mixed cases of cider and ramune for aficionados.

As the weather heats up, so should sales of cider and ramune, possibly making this summer the best yet for local producers. It looks like a locally made cola might also be a hit this summer. There’s already an Okinawan cola made from black cane sugar on the market and March saw the release of Iwate Koharu (Indian summer), a sugar-free cola made by a local beer brewer.

RSS

Recent Posts

  • 100 years of Japanese beauty in one minute

    Cut is setting its lens on Japan as it shows the dramatic changes Japanese women have gone through in the past century.

  • Studio Ghibli on a roll with licenses for new toys

    Nibariki has new wind-up toys inspired by Studio Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.”

  • ‘Japan Sumo Cup’ is possibly the most Japanese thing ever

    In this rhythm game, players choose a real sumo player, ride an actual race horse and compete against characters from “Street Fighter.”

  • YouTubers in Japan with 100,000 fans and counting

    YouTube threw a big celebration for more than 20 YouTubers living in Japan who have over 100,000 subscribers.

  • Finding laughs in translations that have lost the plot

    The Orikaeshi Honyaku Dictionary site, which boasts the catchphrase “from Japanese to Japanese,” roughly translates as “Chinese whispers.”

  • Japan tricks out the Halloween treats

    Halloween is a time to carve pumpkins, enjoy a few scares and, most importantly, shovel as much candy as humanly possible into one’s own mouth. While the practice of door-to-door trick-or-treating may not be a thing in Japan, the custom of eating special Halloween snacks certainly translates. Plenty of companies, both overseas and domestic, are […]

  • Ginza Cozy Corner takes dessert into hyperdrive with ‘Star Wars’ cakes

    One Japanese confectionary vendor is about to find the Force deep within a sweet tie-up. Ahead of the December release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Ginza Cozy Corner, which has outlets nationwide, has made a line of “Star Wars” sweets that are truly out of this world. The treats themselves are all based on people […]

  • Warning: This viral video of high school girls might make you blush

    Cosmetic company Shiseido has recently uploaded a YouTube video that is blowing viewers’ minds with a bona fide twist. In the promo video, titled “High School Girl? — The Makeup Secrets of High School Girls,” the camera weaves through a classroom full of drop-dead cute young women who pout and wink like true pop idols. […]

  • Sharp dials up the fan service to celebrate 20 years of ‘Evangelion’

    For those who have always dreamed of owning an Evangelion robot, this might be the closest you get. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular “Neon Genesis Evangelion” animated series, Sharp is releasing a special smartphone that pays homage to the show both in the device’s hardware and software. The phone itself is detailed […]

  • Tokyo plugs into Google Play Music

    If you haven’t heard the latest news from Google Play, you may have missed your opportunity to tune into a Google Play Billboard. From Oct. 8-24, music lovers can head over to Shibuya to, literally, plug into a selection of over 3,500 songs. The Google Play Billboard is meant to give visitors a much-needed chance […]