Much has been said on the subject of the ubiquitous vending machines in Japan. Yes, vending machines seem to be lurking around every street corner here in Japan. And while hot beverages may not be among the most unusual products available from a vending machine, they can certainly offer you great comfort when you’re facing the bitter cold during the winter months.
And it turns out there’s quite a variety of hot drinks out there that you can buy from a machine, as a recent post on Japanese trend and information compilation site Naver Matome shows us. Let’s take a look at their selection of beverage options that may come in extremely handy when you’re caught outside in freezing weather.
For some reason, Japan seems to love creamy corn soup, or corn potage as it’s commonly called here. So it’s really not surprising that many Japanese beverage manufacturers would sell hot canned corn soup from vending machines once the weather starts to get colder. As you can see from the list of products below, there’s no shortage of items to choose from when it comes to corn potage!
● “Large Size Corn Potage (Tappuri Size Corn Potage)” from JT (Japan Tobacco)
This 240g (8.5oz) can, which is a relatively large size for a canned soup, contains both the kernels and pureed form of the “super sweet corn” and is priced at 120 yen (US$1.02).
● “No-Kernels-Left-in-the-Can Rich and Creamy Corn Potage (Tsubu Kanshoku Koku Toro Corn Potage)” from Dydo Drinco
This soup, also made from “super sweet corn”, is apparently thicker in consistency than the average corn potage. And to ensure that you can drink up every kernel of corn in the can, they’ve even designed the can so that it has an extra wide opening! This 170g (6oz) can is available for 115 yen ($0.98).
● “Chunky and Extra Creamy Corn Potage (Gu ga Tappuri! Tokuno Corn Potage)” from Ito En
This offering from Ito En, a manufacturer known for their green tea beverages, uses milk and fresh cream from Hokkaido for a smooth and creamy flavor and sells at a price of 115 yen ($0.98) for the 190g (6.7oz) can.
● “Gently and Carefully Cooked Creamy Corn with Kernels (Jikkuri Kotokoto Tsubuiri Toro-ri corn)” from Pokka Sapporo
The corn in this soup apparently has an extra crunchy and fresh texture, according to both Pokka’s product description and comments from consumers. This soup too uses Hokkaido-made cream for a sweetly smooth aftertaste and comes in a 190g (6.7oz) can for 115 yen ($0.98).
● “Bistrone Select Eatable Corn Potage (Bistrone Select Taberu Corn Potage)” from Coca-Cola
This soup is made from American-grown sweet corn and is part of Coca-Cola’s premium “Bistrone Select” line of canned soups, which is specifically cooked using select “in-season” vegetables. The soup is currently available from Coca-Cola’s online shop at a price of 2,857 yen ($24.52) for a set of thirty 190g (6.7oz) cans.
● “Corn Potage with Plenty of Kernels (Tsubu Tappuri Corn Potage)” from Suntory
A mild soup containing plenty of corn kernels that should leave you satisfied, this drink is apparently somewhat light in texture compared to many of the thicker soups out there. The 185g (6.5oz) can sells for 115 yen ($0.98)
● “From Kitchens around the World — Corn and Chesse Happiness Rich Corn Potage （Sekai no Kitchen kara — Tomorokoshi to Cheese no Shiawase Noko Corn Potage) from Kirin
The concept behind this soup is Italian homemade polenta cornmeal, and they’ve added cream cheese for an extra rich flavor. The soup comes in a 185g (6.5oz) can at a price of 115 yen ($1.01).
So, you can see we weren’t kidding when we said that Japan loves its corn soup — there are literally dozens of hot canned corn soup products you can choose from! But of course, there are other interesting hot drinks you can buy from vending machines as well. The sweet red bean paste dessert soup known as oshiruko is another popular item that is available from several manufacturers:
● “Dainagon Shiruko” from Ito En
This oshiruko is made using 100 percent Hokkaido-grown red beans of the “Dainagon” variety, which are known for their refined sweet flavor. The drink is designed to emphasize the thick texture associated with red bean paste. The 190g (6.7oz) can is available for 115 yen ($1.01).
● “Oshiruko” from JT
This oshiruko drink, priced at 120 yen ($1.03) for the 190g (6.7oz) can, also contains large Dainagon beans from Hokkaido. They’ve also added chestnut paste to enrich the flavor.
● “Oshiruko with Beans (Tsubuiri Oshiruko)” from Pokka Sapporo
This oshiruko contains carefully cooked plump red beans and according to Pokka Sapporo, should be flavored sweet enough to keep you full and satisfied for a while. The drink sells at 115 yen ($1.01) for the 190g (6.7oz) can.
● “Golden Oshiruko (Kin no Oshiruko) from DyDo Drinco
Also made from Hokkaido-grown red beans, this oshiruko contains no extra scented ingredients, so you can enjoy the natural flavor and scent of the beans. The 190g (6.7oz) can is available for 115 yen ($1.01).
And if red bean paste isn’t quite your cup of tea, here are some other unique hot drinks you can try:
● “Miso Soup with Bonito and Konbu Seaweed Goodness (Katsuo to Konbu no Umami Misoshiru)” from Ito En
This miso soup in a can uses a mix of rice-based miso and barley-based miso plus stock from bonito and konbu seaweed for flavor and also contains pieces of wakame seaweed and tofu as well. The drink, which is priced at 130 yen ($1.11) for the 165g (5.8oz) can, should go well with any quick, Japanese style meal.
● “Chunky Vegetable Soup Minestrone (Gu ga Tappuri! Yasai Soup Minestrone)” from Ito En
This Italian-style soup is made from tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery and potato, with chickpeas and corn added for some texture and substance. At 139 yen ($1.19) for the 170g (6oz) can, the drink looks hearty and filling.
● “Hot Baked Apple (Hot Yaki Ringo)” from Pokka Sapporo
And last but not least, for those of you with a sweet-tooth that can’t be satisfied with an oshiruko drink, we have this drinkable baked apple, available in a 275ml (9.3oz) plastic bottle for 120 yen ($1.03). The sweet dessert drink even contains a bit of honey for added flavor.
So, what did you think of the hot beverages on the list? The drinks certainly look like they could be a godsend when you’re feeling cold and hungry. The next time you’re in Japan and Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, maybe all you need to do is to run to your nearest vending machine for some warmth and comfort!
Source: Naver Matome (Japanese)