Thursday, July 31, 2014

Special Feature - FILE, Japan Edition: Drinks

I feel like I'm naming a Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon with these titles, they're so long! I did manage to shorten 'Food I'd Like to Eat' into FILE, maybe it will catch on. Last time I did an assortment of random food from Japan. In this edition, as you can see, I'm covering drinks I'd like to...drink.

I got some bad news, my fellow Japanese snack enthusiasts: in case you didn't happen to notice, Pepsi has all but given up on 'wacky flavors', instead going all in on Nex (Japan's answer to Pepsi Max) & the weird one that allegedly boosts your metabolism. Oh well, there will be plenty of other drinks in the sea.

Interesting to note about Pepsi in Japan - they take Coke head-on, something I haven't seen since like, the 90s in America. See, the Cola War kinda fizzed out shortly after the Cold War did, so we stopped seeing as many ads where a Pepsi can beat up a can of Coke or something. Everyone involved just took their rightful place in the strata: Pepsi for the Wild Cherry Teens, Coke for your dad, RC Cola for your Moon Pie-eating Alabama uncle, and Faygo for Juggalos. As it should be.

In Japan however, there are things like this:

I can't read Japanese, so I don't know exactly what the ad is saying, but clearly Pepsi wins and Coke Zero is even shown in the commercial as a competitor! This is some Pepsi Challenge level stuff, folks. Unseen in the west for years.

Also, Nex itself has a name that instantly made me remember Pepsi' main advertising slogan when I was a kid and conscious of my 'generation': Generation Next. This ad features the Spice Girls, but I remember lots of sped up footage of girls in belly shirts & guys in baggy cargo pants holding cans of Pepsi up to the camera. Man, that was really more like Generation Poochie. Don't blame me, I'm a 'millenial', or something.

So, Pepsi is a bit of a dud in Japan right now - they aren't even listing my precious Grape Mountain Dew as a product! I'm glad I got to try a few flavors before the end, RIP Wacky Pepsi.

There are a few interesting Fanta flavors that seem to have just came out under the banner of 'Mellow', probably along the lines of the 'adult taste' KitKats these are meant for more sophisticated consumers. You know, like me. The kinda classy gal who writes four or five paragraphs about Pepsi. Yeah, I'm the target audience for the mellow taste of Lychee, Muscat Grape, and...'La France', which kind of looks like it might be a pear.

image courtesy Coca Cola JP
That's all three of the most interesting Fantas out at the moment  - muscat, lychee, and probably pear!

It's not just sodas I drink ya know...just mostly. I also like coffee, and coffee shop milkshakes.

image courtesy Starbucks JP
This one is 'Chunky Cookies Frappucinno', which probably contains no coffee whatsoever...but does, in fact, contain an entire cookie. An almond & dark chocolate cookie, no less! Looks delicious, not so strange, but delicious. Unfortunately I missed a few more exciting varieties that had things like pudding, coffee jelly, and other sundry bits inside. Maybe more will come out while I'm there?

This one's a bit of a cheat, as I've had this one in Japan before - and I love it.
image courtesy Tully's JP
It's a Honey Milk Latte, made with espresso, honey, and condensed milk. Ohhhh yeeaaah. I got them cold mostly, and they were so tasty. One of my fondest memories from Japan was going into a far-off Book-Off with my husband and then going into a Tully's. It tasted sweet, creamy, and absolutely delicious.

Finally, old stalwart McDonald's has a very cool milkshake out at the moment!

image courtesy McDonald's JP
Melon flavored milkshake, that is! I appreciate that it shares a color palette with the Shamrock Shake, but has a much more intriguing flavor. Although, I guess that depends on where you come from - to some people, an unknown quantity of mint in a vanilla shake might be quite strange, and melon is just 'meh'. Not so for me, and I'm looking forward to trying as I love melon soda. That's another one I'm looking forward to!

That concludes the drink edition of FILE for Japan, next up...I'm not sure! I'll think of something, I'm sure, as there is still plenty of food I want to eat in Japan.


  1. All these sound nice but especially that melon milkshake! Very intrigued by the Frappuccino - I guess the cookie is swirled into it?

    1. I think they blend the cookie in with the frapp base, like a cookies & cream milkshake would be. It looks amazing! But, definitely even more calories than a regular frappucinno - which is already about a meal's worth, haha. But hey, holiday is holiday. :)