The unusual new flavours are designed to go down well with traditional Japanese meals.

While a lot of attention has been given to Pepsi Japan and its unusual lineup of limited-edition flavours, there’s a smaller home-grown company that continues to give the beverage giant a run for their money, with a range of colas that showcase more traditional Japanese ingredients. Based in Shizuoka Prefecture, the Kimura Drink Company is known locally as a “carbonated drinks entertainer” and is considered a pioneer when it comes to the development of new, unexplored beverages. They made a splash with their unagi eel-flavoured cola last year, and now they’re back with two new varieties that combine the taste of pickles with the refreshing zing of a sparkling cola beverage.


According to the company, regular cola drinks taste fantastic with western-style foods like hamburgers, so it was a natural step for them to develop a new type of cola that would taste equally delicious when paired with the country’s staple dish, white rice. Two ingredients with a long history of accompanying rice dishes immediately stood out as ideal candidates for the task: umeboshi (pickled plums) and takuan (pickled daikon white radish).

Whereas umeboshi has been mixed with alcohol before, particularly in Chu-hi mixed drinks made with shochu distilled liquor, blending takuan into a beverage was an entirely new concept. It turns out that the sour acidity from both ingredients makes for a perfect addition to the sweet cola base. Each mouthful is designed to have the same salty, pickled flavour of the original ingredient, only with a pleasant and refreshingly sweet aftertaste that makes you want to come back for more.

▼ With the bright yellow colour of the Takuan Cola perfectly resembling the juice from a pickled daikon, this is definitely one to try with a good serving of white rice on the side.


The drinks are currently available to pre-order from the company website, in 20-bottle boxes for 3,700 yen (US$33.57). Delivery within Japan is scheduled for 18 June, which coincides with the country’s “Onigiri Day”. If you’re in Shizuoka after this date, be sure to check the drinks section at service areas along the highway and at souvenir shops in the area, where individual 240-millilitre (8-ounce) bottles can be found.

Source, Images: Kimura Drink Company (1, 2)