Written by Sandrine
Japanese Soy Milk - Varieties And Flavors For Every Taste!
Soy milk comes in incredibly many varieties in Japan. In fact, Japan's representative flavors such as sakura, matcha, and plum can be experienced through the different varieties of soy milk. How about trying some for yourself?
Did you know that the most popular plant-based milk in Japan - soy milk - is available in over 50 flavors? Soy milk (tonyu in Japanese), is a drink produced by grinding dried soybeans in water. It is the plant milk with the highest nutritional content, containing a healthy amount of protein and carbs, and no cholesterol.
For people who exclude dairy products from their diet, or just wish to have an alternative to cow's milk, soy milk is a great option that is also often available in Japanese cafes. Soybeans and soy milk have been a staple in East Asian and, particularly, Japanese diets for hundreds of years. It is therefore no surprise that soy milk is easily available everywhere and also in many different flavors.
Seasonal and Rare Varieties
During the springtime soy milk with sakura flavor is a very popular drink. The sakura flavored soy milk is, in fact, a limited edition product. Convenience stores that usually carry some of the popular flavors such as plain, banana and matcha (green tea) flavor, will now stock up on sakura flavored soy milk varieties to celebrate the cherry blossom season. When you see it in stock, be sure to grab it before it gets sold out. It's a great way to experience the Japanese tradition of enjoying sakura flavored food in the spring.
Popular varieties such as plain soy milk, banana, coffee or chocolate flavor even come in 1-liter containers. Some of the other flavors on the market are, for example, black tea, matcha, yuzu, ume (Japanese plum), sweet potato, mango, strawberry, and others. There are even varieties with specific dessert flavors such as ice cream, pudding, and cake flavored soy milk drinks!
Enjoy Familiar Japanese Flavors
Japanese soy milk producers have surely tried to bring out familiar Japanese flavors in their soy milk drinks to enable people to enjoy these popular flavors through soy milk. At the supermarket, you will be able to find soy milk with flavors such as matcha, oshiruko, ume (plum), black bean and even sweet sake.
The flavors are familiar to those who often eat Japanese food, while still keeping the soybean taste that many have come to love. If you are craving for oshiruko (sweet red bean soup) in the morning, why not have a glass of oshiruko flavored soy milk with your breakfast? Experiencing Japan's rich palette of flavors through soy milk is easy, healthy and inexpensive!
Easy To Find!
Different varieties of soy milk are available at every food shop. This includes supermarkets, drugstores, convenience stores, 100 yen shops and smaller kiosks. Recently, some vending machines have started to carry the small 250 ml soy milk types. Drugstores tend to have the cheapest prices starting from around 40 yen, while convenience stores usually have fixed prices at around 100 yen. The supermarket prices will most often lie at around 80 yen.
Japanese soy milk usually comes in 1-liter containers, while other flavors will mostly be available in smaller 250ml containers. Kikkoman is the most popular soy milk producer in Japan, producing most of the different varieties of soy milk on the Japanese market. Their current line-up of soy milk products can be viewed on their website, and includes over 40 different types.
Other soy milk producers have their own lines of various flavors. This means that there are many more flavored soy milk types than any other popular milk drinks, such as dairy or almond milk.
How to Enjoy Japanese Soy Milk
The flavored soy milk varieties sold in Japan can be enjoyed as a drink on the go or at home, served cold with ice - to get that cafe feeling. Some varieties are also great heated up, like the coffee, matcha and tea flavor types. Some of the more exclusive varieties have flavors such as sakura, Cola or ramune (a type of Japanese cider drink). Japanese soy milk types also make great souvenirs to bring back home to friends and family.
Because soy milk is so inexpensive and easily available everywhere, we recommend trying out a few while you are in Japan - it's an easy way of experiencing traditional Japanese flavors, or just your own favorite fruit flavor, which will most likely exist. Don't forget they are healthier options than other matcha or chocolate drinks.