Every morning in Tokyo and Kyoto, Koji, Mere and I took part in a canned kanji ritual in the lobby of our hotel. In Japan, ready-to-drink canned coffee is available in just about every lobby – and street corner:
The vending machines themselves are pretty high tech… hot and cold distribution; liquid into a cup distribution, etc. The hot canned coffee always came out at the perfect temperature.
According to some of our guide readings – and even Japanese Wikipedia – the big canned coffee fad kicked off in the early 1970s and was really booming by the early 80s. In addition to some names we hadn’t seen before (Pokka, Dydo) – a lot of the big Japanese beverage companies (Suntory, Kirin, Coca-Cola, Nescafe, Asahi) have their own brands/labels in the canned coffee market, too.