At the time of writing, most fruit juice for sale in Tokyo supermarkets is both expensive and pretty awful. I’d say on a scale of 0 – 10, with 0 being sour milk and 10 being orange juice that’s been squeezed into your glass directly from a perfectly ripe orange, most juices here are in the 2 – 4 range.
Whilst you can at times buy a litre of concentrated fruit juice for ¥100, the “nicer” (but not nice at all) juices hover just under the ¥300 mark. And these are still pretty bad.
Fortunately there is hope, and it is in the form of an import specialist food/drink chain called Yamaya.
Yamaya sells a range of palatable juices, orange, grapefruit, papaya, peach, mixed berry to name a few – and they are all under ¥200. The best value is the Spanish “Don Simon” brand, these juices (although just concentrate) taste okay and are price around ¥120 – ¥150. In fact, you’ll notice that many of the poncy bars that charge ¥500 for a glass of orange juice are pouring it from a Don Simon carton. And the other juice brands sold at Yamaya are good aswell, so quite a few to choice from.
If you live in central Tokyo, you might be lucky enough to have one walking distance away, here’s a list of Tokyo Stores (In Japanese, but click on the store names on the left for more details and map). Alternatively you can order a box of 12 cartons online.
In fact Yamaya is good for a load of other food shopping too (tea, coffee, booze, olives, olive oil, pasta, canned tomatoes, cereal, tinned sardines, pesto, pasta sauce etc.), but we’ll come back to that in other posts.
I don’t know of any other proper “Cheapo” alternatives, but if you’re willing to fork out for it you can get some tasty fruit juice. In Japan “freshly squeezed/pressed” is called “straight” (ストレート), and it’s not that hard to get your hands on some “straight” mikan or apple juice, which in my experience is usually pretty nice. However the price tag usually isn’t nice and you’d be really hard pressed (pun intended) to find some “straight” juice less than ¥500/litre.
You’ll find the “straight” juices is in the more upmarket supermarkets and shops e.g. Seibu or Presse.
Anyway, see you in Yamama!
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