Top 10 Hot Drinks in Vending Machines and Convenience Stores

Japan is a place where hot drinks and soups are sold in vending machines and convenience stores. If you are one of those people who feel like trying them but are worried about how they taste, then this article is worth a read! Read on to learn about the tastes and characteristics of those hot drinks that you've been curious about!

1. Tea (Hojicha and Green Tea)

If you come to Japan, the one drink you have to try is green tea! You will find that even the invigorating bitter taste that is left in your mouth is quite refreshing and delicious. Almost all of the green tea drinks sold in vending machines and convenience stores in Japan come in green packaging, so it's easy to spot them.
Aside from green tea, you should also try hojicha. Made by roasting the leaves of green tea, hojicha has a distinct aroma and a milder bitter taste than green tea. Most hojicha drinks are sold in brown packaging, so if you haven't tried it before, then you should definitely try it during winter! It becomes even more fragrant when you drink it hot.
Another great point about the green tea and hojicha that are sold in Japan is that they have zero calories so they are very healthy!

2. Cocoa

You'll heave a sigh of relief from the warmth of hot, sweet cocoa on a cold winter's day. Most of the cocoa drinks sold in vending machines and convenience stores are on the sweet side with a generous amount of milk. If you feel tired from all the walking when you are sightseeing and shopping, have some cocoa to soothe your tired muscles!

3. Hot Lemon

Hot lemon is a drink that is popular for having the right balance of sweetness and sourness. Aside from the refreshing delicious taste of lemon, it is also loaded with Vitamin C, which is effective in preventing colds. Hot lemon tastes like hot, sweet lemonade, so it's easy to drink.

4. Coffee

There are plenty of drinks that have “coffee” written on them, but if you want to drink coffee without milk or sugar, then choose those that say “sugar-free” or “black". Many of the black coffee drinks come in jet black packaging. Their characteristics vary depending on the product, so some of them have a deep, rich taste, while others have a refreshing aftertaste. Try the different kinds of coffee for yourself!

5. Cafe Latte

Cafe latte with milk and cafe latte with sugar are not the only variants of cafe latte available, as one of the biggest appeals of this drink is its richness in variety. For instance, the coffee brand of a major beverage manufacturer has 15 kinds of coffee with milk. There is cafe latte with plenty of milk, cafe latte with a lot of coffee and cafe latte with only a small amount of sugar, so choose the kind that suits your taste. If you want cafe latte with less sugar, then pick the one that says “less sugar” or “sugar-free”.

6. Black Tea (Straight Tea/Milk Tea)

Many of the black tea drinks in cans or plastic bottles are quite sweet, but sugar-free straight teas have also been debuting in the market of late. It smells great, so it is perfect with bread and meals.
Milk tea is characterized by its mellow taste and sweetness. You can also find chai tea with a hint of spice, which is only available hot, so enjoy the wide varieties available.

7. Onion Soup

Now, let’s go to the drinks that are a bit unusual! Delicious soups and hot soups/drinks unique to Japan are also available in vending machines and convenience stores throughout the country.
First on the list is onion soup that has that irresistible delicious taste of onion. The tastiness of slowly-cooked onion soup does not change even when it is put in a can. There are variations that use cut onions, so try this one if you're feeling a little hungry!

8. Corn Soup

There are many kinds of canned corn soup, so you will often see them even in vending machines. It may come in a can that is a bit small, but it will still be satisfying and filling just the same because the richness of the soup, the mild sweetness of corn, and bits of corn are all inside the can!
When drinking canned corn soup, though, the first thing you have to remember is that you need to shake it before you drink it. If you don’t shake it, the corn kernels will settle at the bottom so that even if you finish drinking it to the very last drop, you won't be able to get the corn. Make sure to shake it well before opening to enjoy the crunchy corn texture.

9. Oshiruko

A type of dessert that is made by adding sugar to boiled red beans, oshiruko (sweet red bean soup) is one of the representative flavors of winter in Japan. Rather than looking for a dessert place where you can eat oshiruko, it's easier to buy canned oshiruko on the streets, so if you've never had it before, then you should definitely try to drink it at least once.
Similar to corn soup, there are oshiruko drinks that have bits of beans inside, so make sure to shake the can well before opening so that the beans don't settle at the bottom.

10. Misoshiru/Tonjiru

Misoshiru (miso soup) is now available in can form, and you're finally able to buy it in vending machines and convenience stores. If you upload your thoughts on canned miso soup on social media, it will likely get a lot of likes and comments!
The ingredients in the miso soup vary depending on the product. Some of them have tofu and wakame (a kind of seaweed), some have the rich flavor of clam broth, while some are of the tonjiru variety which come with pork, vegetables and konjac jelly.
If you buy an onigiri (rice ball) and canned miso soup at the convenience store, it will only cost you around 300 JPY for both, making it very easy for you to enjoy Japanese food.

It's quite unique that you can also buy soups and misoshiru in vending machines, don’t you think? Try out some new drinks and discover their delicious flavors with this article as your guide!

*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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