Japanese Ramune, A Bubbling Good Time

Japanese Ramune (日本のラムネ), Fun in a Bottle

This week I tried Ramune for the very first time. I was watching this Japanese comedy over the weekend and there was this man who had to pretend to be afraid of everything. When he’d open the refrigerator…he’s scream, when he’d turn on the television…he’d scream and when he tried this drink called ramune…he screamed. I watched him open the bottle and thought “What is he doing?” It wasn’t a bottle opener he was using, but I couldn’t quite see what he did to open the bottle. I had heard of Ramune and had even seen bottles of it while strolling around in Japan, but I had never actually seen it opened before. My curiosity was piqued and from that moment, there was no going back. I WANTED TO TRY RAMUNE!!

What is Ramune (らむね)?

Ramune is a popular soda here in Japan. On hot days, at festivals, sometimes just outside of shrines, you can find a vendor selling bottles of ramune soda pop (I never say soda pop, it sounds really old-fashioned to me…what do you say?). The soda is a sweet, lemon-flavored beverage that’s very much reminiscent of Sprite. But what makes Ramune so much fun? Is it the bubbles? Is it the refreshing, lemony zing? All of these things make a cold ramune a welcome treat on a sunny afternoon, but what’s most interesting about it is how you drink it. I know that sounds strange but bear with me.

How Do I Drink Ramune?

Ramune definely seems to be geared towards children because opening it is kind of like a game. You have to use this plastic lid, a marble, a plastic ring and a the bottleneck to open it. Also, there’s a special method to getting the soda out of the bottle. It’s really neat, and I never would think of something like this. I thought I’d just make pictures of how to do it, but that would take some of the fun away. So I made a video about it instead.

So here’s how to drink Ramune:

Just a quick note. I am a Ramune newbie! In the video I spray Ramune everywhere, so I don’t know if holding down the plastic piece after popping the marble is the best way or not. I did it successfully with two of the plastic ramune bottles. I held the plastic top down, and nothing came out…perfect. Unfortunately, as you saw in the video, I am 0 for 2 on glass bottles. Ah well, I guess I’ll have to drink more ramune to get my bottle poppin’ skills up.

Where Can I Buy Ramune?

If you just happen to be at a local festival or something you should be able to find a stand selling ramune. I asked an attendant at my local grocery store, and after searching, we were unable to find any. However, I did find Ramune at IIAS Tsukuba (the largest shopping mall in Kanto). There was this store that sells kids masks and toys. They actually had two types of Ramune: Lemon (regular) and Pineapple. I tried them both and have to say that the classic ramune was best.

How Much Is It?

The prices will vary from store to store and brand to brand. I paid 126 yen at the mall closest to me and 150 at a stand just outside of a shrine in Enoshima. So I’d say 150 and under are pretty standard prices for a bottle of ramune.

Is Ramune Any Good?

I don’t drink a whole lot of soda these days, but if you’re okay with the popular, sugary soda brands (Sprite, Coke, Dr. Pepper, etc.) I think Ramune will do you proud. Plus that bottleneck mechanism is just fun.

“Bottoms up! But, umm, make sure the marble is in the right place or no soda is going to come out.”

Donald Ash

The following two tabs change content below.
  • majikkuke

    hey, cool blog! but sorry, you put 二本のラムネ shouldn’t be 日本のラムネ? Same reading so maybe a typo! :)

    • Donald Ash

      WHOA! You are 200% right. Fixed it! Nice save, desu. Thanks majikkuke :)

  • Heather

    Hello, This is my first visit to your site but it’s interesting (Was directed here by a company in the UK called Cybercandy that sells Ramune). Thought you might be interested to know that ‘Ramune’ is a Japanese derivation of the English word ‘Lemonade’ and the designs of the bottle are very similar to ‘Codswallop’ lemonade bottles in the UK. But you got it right, flat palm opening is better, especially if you have the bottle on a firm surface so you get good pressure on the bottle opening. Look forward to more Japanese news!

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks for posting, Heather. That’s funny, someone else was just telling me the other day about the British lemonade bottles. Didn’t have a clue. COOL STUFF! Thanks

  • Nanami

    XD! Donald-san Ramune is fun, ne? I just finished moving.. monday I start my japanese courses at the uni. I am settled in and ready to go to Marshall! lol.. Ramune has all kinds of flavors! I really like the strawberry myself and the ‘Hawaiian’ version (it’s bright blue). To prevent spray.. it’s kind of hard (i haven’t watched the video yet, i’m having lunch in Panera). Set it on a flat surface and just barely crack the seal. Let the drink air out a second or two then quickly use the flat of your hand to press down and you should have less spray.

    However.. the safest bet is to do it in a kitchen sink or facing away from everyone around you if you’re with a group lol.

    • Nanami

      I lied, there is a much better way to open these: have someone else do it for you.

      • Donald Ash

        :) :D :D Ice-cold, Nanami. Ha ha ha. I will.

    • Donald Ash

      Panera!?! Why did you have to do that to me! LOL I miss Panera bread, that place was good. I didn’t know that there were so many flavors! COOL! That Hawaiian version sounds like a winner to me. It always seems like anytime a candy or drink is blue blue…it’s automatically good. Thanks for the Ramune tips, I’ll have to work on that…A LOT!

  • Kayla

    I love Ramune. I was quite delighted to find it at my local grocery store. ^_^

    • Donald Ash

      Yeah, Kayla! Ramune is the best, right?

  • melvin

    Ramune,mmm… weird looking bottle.

    I bought like a pack with 6 bottles of ramune right after i watched your video and i was surprise it was good, taste like sprite/7-up.. been successful in opening my first bottle, but my wife she had a little ramune-spray over the kitchen sink! hahah. . . maybe i’ll go and find that store in IIAS Tsukuba on sunday right after the mass at Tsukuba Catholic Church. Thanks again!!

  • Jasumin Fauradesu

    Aww, I wonder if I could find Ramune here in America. I’m just DYING to try it! By the way, thanks so much for the video, man! You helped me tons! And, since I am technically a child (11), this will be really fun to open lol.

    • Guest

      Five below sells it c:

    • brenny

      You can get it at Kroger or Smiths.

    • Erin

      There is a japanese restaurant near me in the UK that sells it, but since it is a restaurant I feel awkward just going to purchase it on it’s own so I end up buying food with it :P

  • Sherry KP

    I showed my husband Ramune and he loves it! When we go oriental food shopping its a treat for us! :) I don’t think i have had a spraying experience with it. usually we just hit the top quickly and it doesn’t spill out. at least that is our experience. :)

  • jessica

    you can buy it in some store in the USA, but my dad buys it, so im not sure where it is. they also come in apple, peach,rasberry(or is that grape),mango, and more

  • Lexie

    the first time I opened a bottle it didn’t spray all over me, yay!! I guess I did it right, my favorite flavor so far is melon, I buy it at a small Japanese foods store owned by a foreigner, he has Ramune all year long and we just love to buy it it tastes so good :)

  • Catherine

    I got the original ramuné and it taste like bubblegum

Read previous post:
Cicada Central

I have to admit something...I hate bugs...not all of them, but there are some that really get under my skin....