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Tea (ocha) is one of the most popular beverages in Japan. The following is a list of some of the most popular kinds of tea drunken in Japan:

  • Gyokuro, Sencha, Bancha:
    Common Japanese green tea made of dried tea leaves (three quality levels in descending order).

  • Houjicha:
    Common green tea made of roasted tea leaves (brown coloured tea).

  • Matcha:
    Matcha is a quite bitter green tea made out of tea leaf powder. It is the tea used in the tea ceremony.

  • Chinese Tea
    Oolong tea, Jasmine tea, etc.

  • Kocha
    English tea.

Sake and Beer

Green tea is drunken everywhere and at any time of the day. Unlike English tea, Japanese green tea is served in cups without a handle and is never drunken with sugar or creme. The most polite way of drinking green tea is to hold the cup with one hand and support it from below with the other hand.

A large variety of alcoholic beverages can be found in Japan. Some of the most popular ones are listed below:

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Japan. The biggest Japanese beer breweries are Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Sapporo. Beer was imported to Japan in the early Meiji Period by foreign specialists who were invited to Japan for the development of the northern island of Hokkaido.
Happoshu, a recent invention by Japanese brewing companies, literally means "sparkling alcohol". It looks like beer, contains the same amount of alcohol as beer, but is made with less malt than beer, giving it a different, lighter taste. As a result of its lower malt content, happoshu is not classified as a beer for taxation purposes and can be sold at a lower price.
Rice Wine (nihonshu or sake)
Nihonshu or sake (sake is the general Japanese term for alcohol) is basically made of rice and water. Besides major brands, there are countless regional rice wines. The alcohol content of rice wine is about 10-20%, and it can be drunken cold or hot.
Wine is very popular in Japan, especially among women. Most wines are imported from overseas. Yamanashi Prefecture is the most famous wine producing region within Japan.
  Japanese plum wine (umeshu)
A sweet alcoholic beverage made of Japanese plums (ume).
Shochu is a distilled spirit with a high alcohol content. Rice, sweet potatoes, wheat and sugar cane are some of the most common bases for shochu.
Chuhai are flavored alcoholic drinks with a relatively low alcohol content. They come in many different flavors such as lemon, grapefruit and pineapple, and are based on shochu.
  Western style liqueur
Whisky, in particular, is very popular in Japan, where it is often enjoyed with water and ice.