Did you know that Coca-Cola has released limited-edition bottle designs that are exclusive to different regions in Japan? Designed with famous sightseeing spots and things associated with the different regions in the country, these bottles have been drawing the attention of many tourists! Having said that, here are some of Japan’s most popular region-exclusive Coca-Cola bottles, categorized by area.
Tohoku Region [Northern Tohoku (Aomori, Akita, Iwate)]
This is Coca-Cola’s limited-edition bottle that is only sold in three prefectures in the Tohoku region. Tohoku is famous for its grand festivals that are held during the summer in Aomori, Akita, and Iwate, three of the prefectures in the region. The bottle’s design is inspired by said festivals.
〇 Aomori's “Aomori Nebuta Festival": More than 2 million people visit Aomori each year to witness the Nebuta Festival, one of Japan’s most famous summer festivals. During this festival, people parade around town carrying large dolls called “Nebuta” on their backs or huge floats while dancing to music. This festival is represented on the Coca-Cola bottle by the powerful face of the Nebuta.
〇Akita’s “Akita Kanto Festival”: A summer festival that is held as a prayer for an abundant harvest. During this festival, people march to the music and shouts from spectators while hoisting 12-meter-tall bamboo poles decorated with 46 paper lanterns. This festival is represented on the Coca-Cola bottle by a bamboo pole with lanterns.
〇Iwate’s “Morioka Sansa Odori”: A summer festival held in Morioka City, the prefectural capital of Iwate. During this festival, dancers and people playing musical instruments such as flutes and drums parade the streets of Morioka. This festival is represented on the Coca-Cola bottle by a person playing the drum.
The design of the Coca-Cola bottle is so festive that it will make you feel the charms of the various festivals in Tohoku region. With such lively and dynamic scenes, you just might get a burst of energy from the drink’s packaging alone.
*Photo of a giant Nebuta float in the Aomori Nebuta Festival
Tohoku Region [Yamagata]
This is the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottle for Yamagata Prefecture, which is home to many sightseeing locations such as hot springs, specialty products, and beautiful nature. The Coca-Cola bottle is decorated with images of places and products that make Yamagata famous: Ginzan Hot Springs, its representative hot spring town; cherries, the fruit it is most famous for; and the Yamagata Hanagusa Festival, its major summer event. The Yamagata Hanagasa Festival is a festival where dancers clad in colorful costumes parade through town while wearing a “kasa” (a type of headdress) decorated with safflowers. All the things that symbolize Yamagata are drawn on this Coca-Cola bottle, so it is apparently popular not just with tourists, but also for those who have returned to Yamagata after a long while, as it makes them “feel at home!”
*Photo of Ginzan Hot Springs
Kanto Region (Metropolitan Area) [Tokyo]
You can't miss the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottle dedicated to Tokyo, the capital of Japan. The kimono-clad woman decorating the bottle will allow you to get a feel of Japan’s sense of grace and modesty. Beside her are a couple of swimming nishikigoi. Originating in Japan, the nishikigoi is a brightly colored carp that is said to be a “living jewel” and “swimming work of art.” Its beauty has attracted quite a bit of attention from around the world.
The limited-edition Tokyo Coca-Cola bottle was designed with the theme of "omotenashi” (hospitality). By having two symbolic Japanese motifs, a single bottle of this drink will let you get a feel of the unique atmosphere of Japan while experiencing the spirit of hospitality that aims to give travelers a more enjoyable trip. Knowing the meaning behind the images this region-exclusive Coca-Cola bottle will also give you an opportunity to learn more about Japan.
*Photo of nishikigoi
Kanto Region (Metropolitan Area) [Yamanashi]
This is the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottle for Yamanashi Prefecture, home to Mt. Fuji, a World Heritage Site. The bottle’s design shows a view of Mt. Fuji over a lake, and if you look closely, you will also see Mt. Fuji reflected on the surface of the water. Such a detailed design beautifully depicts the elegance of Mt. Fuji. As the bottle bears the world-famous Mt. Fuji, it would also serve as a great souvenir. It is definitely one of the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottles that I want to get.
*Photo of Mt. Fuji
Kansai Region [Kyoto]
This is the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottle for Kyoto Prefecture, one of the most famous sightseeing destinations in the Kansai region, where many World Heritage Sites remain intact today. Painted on the bottle is Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), a popular tourist spot in Kyoto. It may look simple, but you can feel the true vibe of Kyoto just by looking at this bottle. The bold design will let you feel the beauty of the design with just one look. And when you’re done drinking the Coca-Cola, you can even keep the bottle as an ornament.
Kansai Region [Osaka]
This is the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottle for Osaka Prefecture, which is considered to be a treasure trove of specialty gourmet dishes and tourist spots in the Kansai region. It is decorated with Osaka Castle, which is the symbol of Osaka; takoyaki (octopus dumplings), representative of Osaka’s food culture; and the Umeda Sky Building which has been gaining attention worldwide for its architectural beauty. I have been to Osaka several times, but the rendering of the spots and dish are so true to the originals that I was truly impressed the first time I saw the bottle! The more I looked at the details of the design, the more I realized it’s a design with a high degree of perfection.
*Photo of the Umeda Sky Building
Kyushu/Okinawa Region [Fukuoka (Hakata)]
This is the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottle for Fukuoka, the most popular sightseeing spot in the Kyushu region. Fukuoka’s Hakata area is a place where you will find plenty of urban commercial facilities and dining spots. The Coca-Cola bottle’s design shows Canal City Hakata, a famous shopping spot in the area, and yatai (food stalls) which are considered to be a summer night tradition in Hakata. What I loved about this design is the positioning of the yatai in a row, helping you feel the true atmosphere of Hakata. People who are not familiar with the image of yatai in Hakata will surely feel the appeal of this design even more when they actually go there and see yatai in person.
*Photo of a nighttime yatai
Kyushu/Okinawa Region [Okinawa]
This is the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottle for Okinawa Prefecture, a place that is blessed with crystal clear seas and beautiful nature. Okinawa is not limited to its gorgeous scenery though, as people are also drawn to its unique culture and history. On the Coca-Cola bottle, you will see images of Shuri Castle's Shureimon Gate and a massive whale shark from Churaumi Aquarium, one of Okinawa’s popular sightseeing spots. Unfortunately, the main hall of Shuri Castle burned down in 2019, but Shureimon remains standing today. So, how about using this bottle as an opportunity to experience the history of Okinawa and feel the charms of Shuri Castle?
*Photo of Shureimon
Did any of these limited-edition Coca-Cola bottles that are dedicated to various regions in Japan catch your eye? You can purchase them at local souvenir shops, supermarkets, and other establishments, so if you find them, make sure to get your hands on them!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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