Weird Japanese drinks

NB: Some of my earliest blogs no longer have their accompanying images but enjoy the copy!

So, it’s a generally accepted fact that there are a lot of strange things you can buy in Japan; mouse pads with breasts, love pillows, clothes for your animals… the list goes on. I thought to myself ‘what are they drinking in Japan?’ and my research produced some interesting results that I think might explain a lot. Anyway, here are the absolute weirdest drinks ever, and they’re all from Japan.

Boob job juice

Yeah, you’d thought I’d start with something relatively normal like Pocari Sweat, didn’t you? No, I’m diving straight into the weird of the weird.  Okkikunare, which translates to ‘make them big’, actually exists. These drinks are unsurprisingly popular among teenage girls in Japan and come in three delightful flavours (apple, peach and mango), but sadly they don’t actually work. The magic ingredient is supposedly powdered arrowroot, which is said to ‘stimulate the female hormone system’. You’d think that’s more likely to just give you mood swings, but there you go… More likely, it’s the fact that there’s lots of high-fructose corn syrup that will make your boobs, along with the rest of you, look bigger!

Kids beer / kids wine

Not non-alcoholic beer – kids beer! The thing that makes kids beer so weird is that it used to just be a regular soft drink, Guarana, then one restaurant owner renamed it and the sales jumped. The production company then re-made the drink so that it was ‘frothier’ and more beer like, and introduced in brown beer-like bottles. Then, along came Sangaria, sparking wine for kids! I wonder if there’s any chance of these making their way to supermarkets over here…

Cheese drink

Who thought cheese belonged in a drinks can? Japan, obviously! NEEDS cheese drink is arguably something you don’t need, any more than boob job juice. This strange drink is a Hokkaido creation, and came about as the result of ‘surplus milk’ that had to be sold somehow. Umm, isn’t that just cream?

Eel soda

In Japan, eating eel on a hot day is supposed to give you a boost of energy. Now you can have it in liquid form if you’re on the go and don’t have time to pick some up at the 7/11…


This is Japan’s take on the equally strange-sounding Calpis, which is basically a yoghurt drink. Coolpis, however, comes in peach and kimchee (red pepper) flavour. I can’t confirm whether or not it actually tastes like piss.

Breast milk

OK, call me old-fashioned, but I’m not too keen on going over to a vending machine and drinking a stranger’s breast milk, no matter how healthy it is… Also, how on earth is this stuff manufactured on a mass scale?

Black vinegar juice

Black vinegar juice may be healthy but it doesn’t exactly taste nice, so in Japan they have dedicated bars that blend it with various flavours It still tastes ‘blech’…

Water salad

I’m beginning to see a pattern emerging here – nothing goes to waste and everything can go in a can! Water Salad is flavoured water, which isn’t remarkable in itself. It’s the fact that it’s flavoured with random vegetables, so it tastes like the residue from your actual salad, that’s weird.

Pocari Sweat

Most of you Japan-savvy people will know what Pocari Sweat is. The good news is that it’s not sweat, and the other good news is that it’s still weird. Pocari Sweat is a sports and energy drink, which serves a very important purpose in the hot weather – rehydrating you! I’ve tried this and it actually works a treat in tropical weather. You can probably buy it in your local China town but you might get some odd looks drinking it over here.

Diet water

I think this is the ultimate weight loss con…

Fanta Furufuru shaker

This is a semi-gelled drink that gets fizzy when you shake it. Oh, you don’t just shake it – you dance it! There’s even a special Furufuru dance you’re meant to do, and you can see the video here.


‘Bilk’ actually means two things. The first is a drink that’s 70% beer and 30% milk. Gross. The second meaning is ‘to cheat out of something valuable’. Coincidence?

Placenta drink

Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope…

And that’s the end of the weird and wonderful drink list! There are a few more I could have added, including the Dragon Ball energy drink and Final Fantasy potion energy drink, but I think this list is weird enough!

Next week… the sequel to weird Japanese drinks! What could it be?

Photo credits: inventorspot, pocarisweat

2 thoughts on “Weird Japanese drinks

  1. This list gave me a chuckle…and a shake of the head occasionally. ‘Bilk’? Really? Why?!

    It’s a shame Pocari Sweat is named as it is, because it’s actually really tasty. What I found weird is the furufuru shaker…I never worked out how to get the stuff out of the can after ‘jellyfyi-ing’ it! Really strange. As for the breast milk drink…people routinely drink milk that’s intended for baby cattle, so in theory it shouldn’t be so…

    Actually, NO. Just. No. Why is that even a thing?!

    A happier accidental discovery on my Japanese drink vending machine adventures was Mitsuya Cider which was, to my initial disappointment, not cider at all. From what I could tell, it’s just a sparkling fruit-flavoured drink but I really liked it.

  2. Pingback: Weird Japanese snacks | Sophie's Japan Blog

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