Outside of the unique flavors of KitKats and sometimes Final Fantasy-themed hot food corner, one of the most surprising experiences for first-time visiting foreigners to a Japanese convenience store is the revelation that Zima is very much still a thing.
While the alcoholic cooler faded fairly quickly after being introduced in the 1990s, it's still marketed in Japan (thanks in part to the country's fondness for affordable canned cocktails), with Zima red, white, and black variations. Zima's newest incarnation in Japan is one inspired by a the yearly tradition of summer festivals in the form of a Ramune flavored Zima.
The flavor is titled "Wasshoi with Ramune Zima". Ramune is subtly lemon-lime flavored soda that is especially popular during summertime, and particularly enjoyed at summer festivals. "Wasshoi" is a spirited rallying call and chant, used often by those carrying mikoshi floats at the same summer festivals.
The new release, which combines the original Zima flavor with that of Ramune, will be available in both bottle and cans with a special label that reads matsuri, or "festival". Both can be found at convenience stores and supermarkets across Japan.
With many summer festivals either canceled or looking in doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic, these may be a chance to take the Japanese summer festival flavor to your home.
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