Truly, there is nothing you can’t find at Japan’s 100 yen stores.

Japan’s 100 yen shops are amazing, with a whole lineup of fun and/or useful items all costing just 100 yen (US$0.89). But if you’d thought you’d seen all they have to offer with their Japanese travel dilemma solutions and potentially razor-sharp knives, you were mistaken, because some 100 yen shops even sell alcoholic beverages.

We recently swung by a branch of Lawson Store 100, a chain of 100 yen shops managed by the same company that runs the Lawson convenience stores. You can think of Lawson Store 100 as sort of a super-budget convenience store, as the chain’s product lineup features more food and drink items than its 100 yen shop rivals.

While taking a look through the store’s alcohol section, we noticed an unusual canned chu-hi, For those who’ve never tried them before, chu-his are cocktails made with shochu, fruit juice or flavors, and soda water. While you can find them in most supermarkets selling for about 250 yen a can, at Lawson Store 100 they’re just 100 yen each (or 108 yen, after tax).

But what really intrigued us wasn’t just the price, but the revelation that Energy-Hi, as the name on the can says, isn’t just a canned cocktail, but also an energy drink. And as cheap as it is, it’s not made by some mysterious, fly-by-night outfit, Instead, it’s produced by Sangaria, an Osaka-based corporation founded in 1974, making it a perfectly respectable beverage company.

A look at the ingredients showed both caffeine and taurine, both popular and common energy drink components, Still, we weren’t ready to jump into the world of 100-yen booze with both feet, so we just bought one can to start. Back at the office, we called on our Japanese-language reporter Ahiru Neko to do the taste-test honors, since he’s a big energy drink fan and a huge energy drink cocktail fan.

We poured the Energy-Hi into a cup, revealing a bright, beer-like color. Ahiru Neko then took the cup in his hand, gave it an appreciative sniff, and then gave us his impressions:

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“…is seriously awesome!

Ahiru Neko says Energy-Hi is delicious, and far, far better then he expected for 100 yen. It’s actually pretty close, flavor-wise, to Red Bull with vodka, his go-to alcoholic energy drink of choice. “As long as I’ve got access to Energy-Hi, I might not even need Red Bull with vodka,” he mused as he walked off carrying the still half-full cup to nurse at his work desk.

Granted, with an alcohol content of four percent, a can of Energy-Hi isn’t going to get you as buzzed as the same amount of vodka and Red Bull. Then again, at just 100 yen, it’s far, far less expensive the infamously overpriced Red Bull cocktail, so if you’re not looking to get super-drunk, or maybe just looking to get super-drunk on a budget, Energy-Hi is here for you.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he misses when Lawson Store 100 was the 99-yen Shop 99.

[ Read in Japanese ]