A taste tour of Tohoku is waiting inside two Tokyo train stations.

Japanese vending machines are usually stocked with a wide variety of beverages, including bottled water, tea, coffee, sports drinks, and soda. But new vending machines that were just installed in some East Japan Railways Tokyo stations take the concept of variety in a different direction by offering nothing but apple juice, but a huge selection of different kinds.

All of the juices are made with apples grown in Aomori Prefecture, Japan’s largest producer of the fruit…or, to be more accurate, fruits. While most people give little if any thought to the type of apple being used in their juice, Aomori’s farmers think differently, and so they’ve prepared several different juices, all but one made from one specific kind, so that you can find which one is just right for you.

▼ The machine’s design makes it hard to miss.

A total of seven different juices are on offer.

Left to right: Fuji, Tsugaru, and Orin

Fuji (ふじ): A red apple that gets its name from originally being cultivated in the farms of the Aomori town of Fujisaki (with no connection to Mt. Fuji). This is one of Aomori’s most plentifully harvested apples, with a balance between tartness and sweetness.
Tsugaru (津軽): Another Aomori favorite, Tsugaru has less acidic flavor and a refreshing sweetness.
Orin (王林): This green apple is rich and sweet, with little to no sour notes.

▼ Left to right: Toki, Jonagold, and Aomori Ringo

Toki (とき): An apple with a deep green color and sweet flavor with a crisp, clean finish.
Jonagold (ジョナゴールド): Tarter than other Aomori apples, this red apple nonetheless has a refreshing flavor.
Aomori Ringo (青森りんこ): Simply meaning “Aomori apples,” this is a blended apple juice with prominent Fuji characteristics.

▼ JR East’s beverage division plots the juice’s relative sweetness/tartness levels like this.

In addition to the above six (which are all priced at 170 yen [US$1.60]), the all-apple juice vending machines also have a premium 300-yen juice made from Aomori’s Sekai Ichi apple.

Meaning world’s number one,” the Sekai Ichi’s name is a reference to its massive size compared to other apples. Flavor-wise, it boasts both sweetness and acidity, making it a true apple connoisseur’s apple.

▼ A Sekai Ichi (left) next to a regular-size apple

Until now, the only all-apple juice vending machine was, fittingly, all the way up in Aomori, but as of this month there are two in Tokyo, with one at Ueno Station, located inside the ticket gates near the third-floor concourse that connects to the Koenguchi exit. The second is at Tokyo Station, in the basement level one Marunouchi central concourse walkway, near the Maru Building exit, and since it’s outside the gates, you won’t even need a train ticket to access it.

Oh, and if you’d rather be drinking veggies, don’t forget that Japan has a sweet potato drink this autumn too!

Source: PR Times (1, 2), Acure via IT Media
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times, SoraNews24, PR Times (2)
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