A little-known milky paradise awaits those who know where to look at this busy station in the capital.

With its maze of alleyways and out-of-the way nooks and crannies, Tokyo is a jungle oasis filled with hidden secrets just waiting to be discovered. Over the years, we’ve come across secret walls in the subway and little-known places where you can enjoy beautiful sights for free, but now there’s a new discovery in the city that’s got everyone talking on social media. Best of all, it’s relatively easy to find, once you know where it is, as it’s located on platform five at Tokyo’s Akihabara Station.


After hearing all the excitement about the discovery online, our Japanese-language reporters decided to do a little sleuthing and set out to Akihabara to see if the hidden treasure was as fantastic as everyone said it was. They bought a ticket at the station, went up to the fifth platform, which serves the Sobu Chuo Line bound for Shinjuku and Ochanomizu, and walked along it until they came across their Holy Grail.

▼ This is what they had come for.

It might look like an ordinary kiosk alongside a bunch of equally ordinary vending machines, but that’s part of the appeal of this area, as thousands of commuters rush past this section of the platform on their way to and from work without thinking to give it another glance.

Those who do give it a second look are surprised to find that this is actually a milk stand. And it’s no ordinary milk stand either, as this one stocks a huge variety of bottled milks from all around the country. While this was a revelation in itself, the real secret treasure lay next to the store, inside the drink machines lined up beside it.

As our reporters approached the row of vending machines, they became more and more intrigued by their contents. When they scanned their eyes over the drinks on offer, they knew that this was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

▼ The two machines in the centre sold nothing but milk-based drinks!

Cynics might be wondering where the thrill is in such a discovery, but for lovers of milk, this is a rare find worth travelling for. It’s not every day you get to see a whole bunch of creamy beverages together like this, especially when they hail from different areas of the country like Hokkaido and Kumamoto.

Despite knowing just about everything there is to know about Tokyo, our well-seasoned reporters had never seen anything like this. With choices like plain milk, teas, milk coffees, yoghurt drinks, green smoothies, flavoured milks, and matcha au lait on offer, our reporters suddenly turned into excited children, eager to push their coins into the machines to make a purchase.

The first thing to catch their eye was a small blue-and-white carton on the top shelf, with a sign alongside it that said “just like ice cream?

Produced by Rakuno Mothers dairy company in Kumamoto Prefecture, this vanilla-flavoured “Delicious Milk” really did taste like an ice cream! Only downside to this one was it was so easy to drink it was gone in seconds.

Another special drink rarely seen in the city is the Cafe au Lait from Rakuno Mothers, billed here as the “Soul drink of Kumamoto“. Thanks to this secret vending machine find, we won’t have to travel 1,000 kilometres south to the island of Kyushu to sample this signature drink!

Over in the other machine was a selection of larger cartons, ranging from Meiji strawberry milk and coffee pails to some more unusual finds.

The Cafe au Lait from Rakuou Milk Company is often touted as one of the most delicious in the country. Usually only available in Fukushima, where the company is based, these drinks contain locally sourced milk, making them a must-buy purchase on a trip to the northern prefecture.

These milk drinks are usually hard to find in Tokyo, and as our reporters were gushing over the unusual selection, commuters just kept on walking past without even stopping to look at the machines. While these people were clearly missing out, it added an extra sense of satisfaction to the discovery as they knew they had the secret pretty much to themselves.

Now that they’ve shared the secret with our readers, these are the drinks they recommend you buy if you do want to stop to make a purchase: Cafe au Lait and Vanilla-flavoured Milk from Rakuno Mothers, and “Nomu Nomu” drinking yoghurt from Rakuou Milk Company.

If you want to sample Japanese milk drinks from different spots around the country in one place, Akihabara Station’s fifth platform is the place to be. And if you want to see a milk teat plop out of a U.F.O. to pour milk for children like an elongated nipple, Japan’s Rakuno Mothers has you sorted too.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons/Brancacube
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