Coca-Cola’s new limited-edition Japan travel destination bottles highlight history and culture

Company breaks with tradition by letting Nagoya Castle bottle shine in gold.

This week saw the anticipated release of Coca-Cola Clear in Japan, which confused our minds but pleased our palates in our taste test. The transparent soda isn’t the only eye-catching offering from the soft drink giant this month, however.

Last year, Coca-Cola introduced a line of regional slim bottles, baring beautiful artwork saluting cities and regions including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Yokohama. With thirsty travelers getting ready to make their way across the country during summer vacation, the company has announced six new designs that collectors and Japanophiles won’t want to miss.

Up first is the Sendai bottle, featuring the city’s feudal samurai lord Date Masamune, in the same horseback pose as his statue that greets visitors to the largest city in the northeastern Tohoku region.

While every design in the series is rendered only in Coca-Cola’s traditional red and white, Nagoya’s new bottle is bold in gold with its depiction of the kinshachi, a mythical creature that adorns the uppermost roof of Nagoya Castle.

Connecting Chiba Prefecture with Tokyo, the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line expressway, which runs straight across the bay and offers breathtaking unobstructed views, is the subject of the Chiba bottle, which also gives a nod to the coastal prefecture’s renowned surf spots.

The national high school baseball tournament has been a highlight of summer in Japan for decades. The championship game is always played at Hyogo Prefecture’s Koshien Stadium (roughly halfway between Osaka and Kobe), and the venue serves as the inspiration for the fourth new bottle.

And for even more baseball, there’s the Hiroshima Boya bottle, which bears the adorably determined likeness of the mascot of Hiroshima’s professional baseball team, the Carp (whose colors, like Coca-Cola’s, are crimson and white).

And last, Coca-Cola gets cultural with its Meiji Restoration (Meiji Ishin in Japanese) bottle, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 1868 event in which the emperor was restored to power over the shogun, ending Japan’s centuries-long feudal period and ushering in modernization as the country opened to the outside world. Seen on the bottle are politically progressive samurai Saigo Takamori and Sakamoto Ryoma, both key figures in this turning point in Japanese history.

▼ The 250-mililiter (8.5-ounce) bottles are priced at 125 yen (US$1.15), and go on sale June 25.

Each design will primarily be offered in and around its respective city/region. The Meiji Restoration bottle will be offered in west Japan, in recognition of Saigo and Sakamoto’s respective birthplaces of Kumamoto and Kochi Prefectures, and since Kochi is on the island of Shikoku, don’t forget to pick up Coca-Cola’s Shinto shrine pilgrimage/anime girl bottle too while you’re there.

Source: Coca-Cola via Narinari
Images: Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola Japan releases new clear coke this month, we get to try it before it goes on sale

No calories, no colour and, surprisingly, a slightly different flavour to regular Coke.

If you’ve been reading our site lately, you’ll know that Japan is currently gripped by a clear drink craze, with everything from milky teas to coffee appearing as clear-liquid products.

Now Coca-Cola is joining the trend, bringing out a brand new clear coke that’s set to hit stores around Japan from 11 June. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a couple of the new drinks before their official release date, so we decided to put them to the test to see if they tasted just like the regular dark-coloured versions.

The first thing that catches your eye, obviously, is just how clear these drinks are. Looking at it in the bottle, you really wouldn’t be able to make the distinction between this liquid and regular plain bottled water from the store.

Adding the image of a more familiar Coca-Cola splashing itself around the label is a nice touch, and the only real colour you’ll find, along with some tiny squares of yellow on the side, with a mention that the drink contains zero kilocalories and “one percent juice“.

We decided to pour the coke out into a glass of ice, and it was immediately clear that this was not plain water. It fizzed up around the ice cubes, giving off a delightful sound and a delicate, refreshing spray.

There seemed to be a higher level of carbonation here than in a regular coke, fooling us into thinking it was a plain cider instead. That could’ve been a trick of the eyes, though, given that no matter how hard we tried, it just did not look like coke at all!

We love the way these clear drinks mess with our visual expectations, so we were eager to see how the new Coca-Cola would confuse our taste buds as well. We took a good gulp, sat back to assess the flavour, and were surprised to find…it tasted just like Coca-Cola! There was a hint of lemon, which the company said it added as a refreshing accent, but the distinct coke taste was there, packing bagfuls of flavour just like the more common dark-coloured variety.

Tasting the familiar flavour of coke while drinking it as a clear liquid really messed with our minds in a way that we couldn’t help but love. We took another sip, and then another, trying to prepare ourselves for the big, bold flavour hit every time, but our eyes wouldn’t let us believe we were tasting anything but a clear, flavourless liquid. This surprising effect is one that we’re sure everyone will fall in love with, no matter how you feel about lemon-flavoured coke.

Developed over the course of a year, during which time dozens of different samples were tested, the new Coca-Cola Clear is more refreshing than sweet, due to the fact that the caramel ingredients have been left out to help give it its transparent appearance. According to Coca-Cola, it’s a very different formulation to the “Tab Clear” transparent cola produced by the company in the early ’90s.

Looking back on it, it appears that the beverage giant could’ve been testing the market for a new clear product back in April, when they came out with their “Invisible Coke” April Fool’s Day prank. While the new clear coke isn’t quite invisible, its appearance is definitely surprising.

Coca-Cola is yet to reveal whether the new drink will be sold in other countries, but if you’re keen to try it for yourself, you might want to take a look at our DIY hack from 2013, where we made Coca-Cola transparent and colourless. It might not taste as good as the new Coca-Cola Clear, but it’s a great trick to wow your family and friends!

Photos © SoraNews24 

Coca-Cola releases world’s first frozen Coke slushie packs in Japan

Eight years in development, the new resealable pouch packaging is said to be a world-first for frozen beverages

After being the first in the world to try the surprising new Peach Coca-Cola, customers in Japan are definitely being spoilt when it comes to receiving exclusive products and limited-edition releases. And now it’s time to enjoy the spoils of Coca-Cola’s creative development team yet again, this time with a new product that’s been eight years in the making: Coca-Cola Frozen Lemon.

Despite the initial lukewarm response to the regular lemon-flavoured coke back when it was released in 2005, followed by a reboot in 2014, Coca-Cola is determined to make us fall in love with the citrus blend, this time by releasing it as a frozen slushie pack to go. According to the company, the new balance of flavours in this release is a perfect fit for the refreshing frozen drink, which can be enjoyed in a number of scenarios.

▼ The new ad campaign suggests trying the frozen coke as an afternoon pick-me-up, or after a bath or at the end of after-school club activities.

While the soft drinks giant has been making strides in the frozen slushie game, most recently with a special vending machine that dispensed beverages that turned to icy slush after being shaken, the new resealable pouch packaging is said to be a world-first for frozen beverages. The convenient new product will allow customers to massage the pouch pack to get the desired crunch, while also enjoying the taste of Coca-Cola with “a refreshing sherbet sensation”.

▼ More than 100 prototypes were devised over eight years during the creation of the new beverage.

▼ The product will be sold frozen and unfrozen, for those who want to pop it in their freezers when they get home.

The company is so confident with the new packaging that they’ll also be releasing two of their Fanta flavours in the same way.

The Coca-Cola Frozen Lemon and the Fanta Frozen beverages will go on sale at stores around Japan at a recommended retail price of 130 yen (US$1.21) from 16 April.

Sources: PR Times (1, 2)
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times (1, 2)

Coca-Cola Japan unveils new cherry blossom sakura design bottle for 2018

We won’t have to wait until the blossoms appear to enjoy sakura with our Coca-Cola this year.

When Coca-Cola announced it would be releasing a limited-edition sakura design bottle in stores last year, it became one of the most sought-after drinks of the season, selling out in stores around the country as soon as it was released.

Thankfully, the soft drink giant has just revealed that we’ll have another chance to get our hands on a cherry blossom bottle again this year, this time with an all-new design that pays homage to the pale pink flowers of spring.

While last year’s design featured small blossoms against an all-white base, this year’s version showcases a much larger collection of cherry blossoms, overlaid on a pale pink base.

This time around, the sakura cover a much larger portion of the bottle, making it really stand out wherever you choose to take it. According to Coca-Cola, the new limited-edition release has been designed for spring events like the March 3 Doll’s Festival, graduation and school entrance ceremonies, and of course cherry-blossom viewing parties.

The slim aluminium bottle adds to the uniqueness of the “Japan Original” design, which will go on sale at supermarkets, souvenir shops and convenience stores around the country from 22 January, coinciding with their new peach-flavoured Coca-Cola release. Each 250-millilitre (8.5-ounce) bottle will retail for 125 yen (US$1.13).

Source, images: Coca-Cola Japan

Peach Coca-Cola coming to Japan in a world-first for the company

People in Japan will be the first in the world to find out what the unique flavour combination tastes like.

Customers in Japan are always spoilt for choice when it comes to exclusive limited-edition releases from big international companies. In the past we’ve seen amazing products like Japan-only Frappuccino drinks from Starbucks, Sakura-flavoured Pepsi, and even a Full Moon cheeseburger from McDonald’s, and now it’s time to reach into our pockets again, with the announcement that Coca-Cola will be releasing the world’s first Peach Coca-Cola in Japan for a limited time.

Japan was said to be chosen as the first country to receive the new product due to their longstanding love of peaches. Japan’s HinamatsuriDoll Festival“, celebrated on 3 March every year, is also known as Momo no Sekku, “the seasonal festival of peaches“, when houses are decorated with pretty Hina dolls and plum flowers, to help mark the changing of the seasons.

According to the company, peaches are believed to have the power to sweep away evil, according to ancient Japanese legends and mythology, making them one of the most popular fruits in the country. Research shows that demand for peach drinks is highest in Japan from January to March, so the 22 January release date for the new Peach Coca-Cola fits right into the peak season.

The new beverage will feature a pink-red label, combining an image of a plump, round peach with fizzy, carbonated bubbles. The drink itself is said to be an exquisite blend, pairing fragrant peaches with the refreshing taste of Coca-Cola.

The new Peach Coca-Cola will go on sale around Japan from 22 January, with the 500-millilitre (16.9-ounce) bottle retailing for 140 yen (US$1.25), and the 280-millilitre bottle (limited for sale at vending machines) available for 115 yen.

Source, images: PR Times

Coca-Cola “Slim Bottle” City Designs range showcases top tourist spots in Japan

Each bottle can only be purchased in the specific tourist spot it was designed for, so tracking down all nine requires a Japanese road trip of epic proportions.

Customers in Japan are used to splurging on their favourite sweets and drinks when they come out in awesome limited-edition flavours, but for soft drink giant Coca-Cola, there’s a different path to generating excitement, and it comes in the form of a unique bottle range called Coca-Cola “Slim Bottle” City Designs.

The iconic red-and-white label is now being joined by some of the most unique designs the world has ever seen, with nine new bottles featuring some of Japan’s most well-known tourist destinations. Five of the designs – Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kyoto, Setouchi, and Kumamoto – first hit the market from June this year, and now, from 20 November, there are another three designs to add to your collection.

Seeing as each bottle is limited for sale only in the area that appears on its design, tracking down all nine is no easy task, but we’ve got the whole range here for you to look at so you can see all the details that went into each of the gorgeous designs.

First up, let’s start at the very northern tip of the country with the Hokkaido bottle, which was first released in June and can only be purchased in the country’s northernmost prefecture.

The design here features well-known Hokkaido landmarks like the Sapporo Clock Tower, the Sapporo TV Tower, Hakodate’s Goryokaku Tower, and the statue of Dr William Smith Clark, an influential American professor who taught in Hokkaido in the late 1870s.

There’s also an image of the prefecture and a series of beautifully detailed snowflakes, in reference to the area’s renowned snowfall.

Like all the bottles in the range, this one comes with the corresponding tourist spot printed on the back of the product.

Those who visit Japan’s capital city will be able to look out for the Tokyo bottle, which was also released in June and is limited for sale mainly in the Tokyo area only.

This one shows the famous city skyline, including the iconic Tokyo Tower and what appears to be the Rainbow Bridge and Shinjuku high-rises.

Travelling south, we arrive at the country’s ancient capital of Kyoto, an area steeped in tradition, which is reflected in the beautiful design of this bottle, which was released in July this year.

Here we see a kimono-clad maiko looking out over an arched bridge and what looks like Daimonji-yama, a Kyoto mountain known for “Gozan Okuribi“, an event where the huge kanji character on the mountainside is set alight to celebrate the end of Obon, the festival of the dead. This bottle is only available to purchase in the Kansai region of Japan.

Next, we move on to Setouchi, a region that includes the Seto Inland Sea and the coastal areas of Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu.

This design appears to pay homage to the region’s famous floating torii gate, located at Itsukushima Shrine, and the Seto Ohashi Bridge that connects the mainland with the island of Shikoku over the Seto Inland Sea. This bottle will be limited for sale in the Shikoku and Chugoku regions of Japan.

▼ Rounding off July’s three-piece collection is the Kumamoto bottle.

It looks like Kumamoto Castle, the city’s most revered structure, which suffered devastating damage following a series of earthquakes in 2016, is at the centre of this design. This bottle will be available to purchase on the island of Kyushu only.

The next design in the series pays homage to the prefecture of Yokohama located just south of Tokyo.

This area is best known for being a port city with a huge ferris wheel. Home to big ships and plenty of seagulls, this design also appears to show an image of the Yokohama Landmark Tower, which is the second tallest building and the fourth tallest structure in the country, standing at 296.3 metres (972 feet) high.

Now we come to the newest members of the collection, which were just released on 20 November. First up, we have Saitama, which might not be on many itineraries for foreign tourists, but remains a popular place to go for locals, given its proximity to Tokyo as it’s located just a short train ride away from the capital city.

One of Saitama’s most well-known landmarks, the Toki no Kane (“Bell of Time”) clocktower, has a history that dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868). The 16-metre (52-foot) high wooden clocktower stands tall over the historic town of Kawagoe, with its bells still chiming four times a day. This bottle appears to show the clocktower alongside an image of the boat rides at Chichibu’s Nagatoro Line Descent, where boatman manoeuvre their boats with distinctive long poles.

The next newly released bottle pays homage to the city of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture.

This city has a proud samurai tradition, stemming from the fact that many of Japan’s most powerful feudal lords, including Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu, were born and raised in Aichi Prefecture. It looks like a sword-weilding samurai and an image of Nagoya Castle, one of the city’s most famous landmarks, is at the centre of this design.

Finally, we have the Ueno bottle, which can be purchased at outlets around central Ueno in the city of Tokyo.

Ueno Zoo, the country’s oldest zoo, is famous for its mother-and-cub pandas, as this was the first cub born at Ueno Zoo in five years. This cute bottle seems to show the pandas enjoying themselves by Ueno Park’s Shinobazu Pond, which is often depicted in historical works of art.

With the adorable limited-edition bottles being highly sought after, we have a feeling that there’ll be more designs joining the current range soon. What places and designs would you like to see on Coke bottles in the future? Let us know in the comments section below!

Photos © SoraNews24

Coca-Cola adds new limited-edition design to their seasonal bottle range available only in Japan

These bottles replicate the beauty of Japan’s four seasons.

Coca-Cola Japan has been setting themselves apart from the competition over the past couple of years by releasing gorgeous limited-time bottles in a variety of stunning designs. Earlier this year they introduced the hugely popular sakura cherry blossom slim design bottle to the market, which became so popular it quickly sold out around the country.

▼ The spring design.

Hot on the heels of the successful product came a new bottle celebrating summer, with fireworks printed all over the front, as a nod to the fireworks events held around Japan during the hottest months of the year.

Now, in autumn, there’s a beautiful autumn-leaf design currently available on shelves, which celebrates the beautiful red, orange and yellow hues seen around Japan at this time of year.

With three collectible bottles grabbing everyone’s attention, it’s no surprise that Coca-cola has just announced its next offering for winter, this time featuring the beautiful buds of plum blossom trees. Called the 2018 New Year Design, the bottle is decorated with red and white plum blossoms, which are pictured alongside a delicate fall of light snow.

▼ Available at retailers around the country from 4 December,
the bottles are set to retail for 125 yen (US$1.12) each.

Often seen as decorations during the New Year period, the plum blossoms are a symbol of beauty that people around the country look forward to seeing in the months of January and February, as an early harbinger of spring. Like the blossoms themselves, which don’t last long, these limited-edition Coke bottles will disappear once stocks are sold so be sure to pick one up if you see one during your travels!

Source, images: PR Times, Coca-Cola Japan Press Release