Melon Soda is a unique soda that is most commonly found in Japan. This suspiciously green carbonated drink has wooed many a tourist visiting the land of the Rising Sun. While in Japan, the drink symbolizes a retro aesthetic of Japanese diners, for many visitors, this drink is a unique taste that they seek long after returning to their home countries.
There are 3 primary types of melon soda you’ll typically find in Japan, which we’ll touch upon later, but the one typically referred to is the deep green artificially tasting soda pop.
Buying authentic melon soda can be a challenge for your wallet and patience if you’re not in Japan. Luckily there are a few options that make it possible!
By purchasing from Japan's Rakuten website, available by using a proxy shopping service like ZenMarket.jp you can buy bulk size Melon soda and many more Japanese melon products.
You could also be subscribed to ZenPop.jp and hope to receive it in one of our monthly boxes.
If you’re not subscribed to a service like ZenPop.jp that provides Japan's limited snacks and drinks monthly, then your best chance is to look for re-sellers on ebay, amazon or at your local asian grocery store.
There are three distinctly different types of melon soda found in Japan. They differ both in taste, color and availability, and while they're all tasty, you'll want to familiarize yourself with them to ensure you get the one you want!
The hardest to find of the 3 types. The most popular brands are the Fanta Melon Soda and Suntory’s POP Melon Soda. The Fanta version has strong carbonation with small bubbles, while Suntory’s version has larger bubbles. The taste is recognized by its strong artificial flavor and deep green color. While it tastes nothing like melon, it’s very unique and pretty!
Fanta melon soda is the more common of the two, regularly found at seven eleven convenience stores. POP Melon soda is the more popular, but rarer of the two, only found in Suntory’s characteristic blue vending machines and on a rare occasion in Eon supermarkets for limited times in summer.
Don’t mistake this soda for the dessert typically served at Japanese retro diners, because this vanilla flavored melon soda is only a replica of this dessert. By adding milk and vanilla to the classic melon soda, you get a distinct new taste, reminiscent of the infamous Calpis drink.
Melon cream soda is far more widespread and is available in most supermarkets from a variety of brands both as 500ml and 2l bottles.
You heard that right! There is a melon soda that actually tastes like melon which is now slowly working itself into the many vending machines across Japan. These are not as established as the counterparts and have yet to find a brand that is truly associated with the drink. However, you’ll often recognize them by their light yellow color, and more serious looking packaging.
Melon Soda is a favorite among children so naturally a plethora of companies have created their take on the popular beverage. Here is a list of all the melon soda brands and products in Japan:
Melon soda is commonly found in both supermarkets, convenience stores and vending machines. However, most sales venues rarely hold more than one type, meaning it can be a challenge to track down your specific favorite. The by far easiest to find is the melon cream soda varieties as they're regularly sold in supermarkets in 2l bottles.
Second is the classic melon soda, available on 500ml bottles from Fanta in all seven eleven convenience stores. Lastly the real melon taste soda can be found on 255ml cans and 500ml bottles in a variety of vending machines, making it more common in such machines than the classic melon soda.
Most Americans are very familiar with the classic diner delight “root beer float”. Japan adopted this treat at its America inspired cafes known as “Kissa” where the Ramune float became popular.
This treat is a glass of melon soda, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream floating on top, commonly drunk with a straw & cocktail spoon, topped with a candied cherry. The contrast of the deep green, icy white and bright red is really a sight to behold.
Making melon soda is surprisingly easy! However, procuring the ingredients can be challenging. All you need is Melon Syrup and tonic water. Melon syrup can be challenging to find unless you use a proxy shopping service like ZenMarket.jp
Many who visit Japan simply cannot forget the taste of this soda, and many return with this drink as a must do activity, next to visiting famous places like Harajuku, Shinsaibashi and Tsutenkaku.
If you’re not sure if you’d want to go all the way to Japan to try their unique snacks, how about getting them to your door instead? ZenPop provides a fun subscription service where you can get 20 items each month themed and curated to make for a fun tasty adventure every time!