Starbucks pays homage to Japan’s prefectures with 47 local Frappuccino flavors
To celebrate its 25th anniversary in Japan, coffee giant Starbucks has released 47 new “jimoto,” or local, Frappuccino flavors that pay homage to every one of the country’s prefectures.
Each of these sweet, coffee-based blended drinks will be available only in the prefecture they represent, so you’ll have to travel around the country to try all 47. They cost 669 yen, or about $6, for a 12-ounce portion, and will be available until Aug. 3.
The beverages feature ingredients special to their prefectures. For example, Starbucks shops in Hokkaido are offering the Creamy Corn Frappuccino.
People in the nation’s capital, including those stationed at Yokota Air Base in the prefecture’s western suburbs, can try the Tokyo Coffee Jelly and Caramel Frappuccino. Jelly or tapioca pearls are popular additions to coffees and teas in Japan and other Asian countries.
The coffee jelly is the center of this drink, with nearly every sip containing some. I think it’s an enjoyable sensation, like eating and drinking a treat simultaneously, but it can be a bit of an acquired taste to people who are not already a fan of jelly drinks or boba teas.
The flavor for nearby Kanagawa prefecture — home to several U.S. military bases — is the photogenic Kanagawa Summer Blue Cream Frappuccino. Its bright blue colors represent the Pacific Ocean and the region’s many trading ports.
Stars and Stripes reporter Daniel Betancourt, who works out of Yokosuka Naval Base, said it takes some vigorous mixing to blend the citrus drizzle into this vanilla-flavored beverage, but the taste is rewarding once everything is combined. It also contains a butterfly pea tea syrup that adds to the citrus flavor.
Yamaguchi prefecture, home to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, is offering the Sesame Matcha Frappuccino, and uses black sesame and green tea to somehow represent the way the prefecture connects Honshu and Kyushu islands.
The drink for nearby Hiroshima prefecture, dubbed the Setouchi Lemon and Citrus Frappuccino, has a soft pink color that promotes peace and love, according to the Starbucks Japan website, which suggest people sip on it while visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome or the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Hiroshima is famous for lemons, and other ingredients include passion fruit tea and sweet whipped honey. Reporter Jonathan Snyder, based at MCAS Iwakuni, said the drink is a refreshing choice for the summer heat that boasts a pleasant balance of sweet and tangy flavors.
Shops in Nagasaki prefecture, home to Sasebo Naval Base, are offering the Castella Coffee and Cream Frappuccino. Castella is a popular cake introduced by Portuguese traders during the Edo period. This drink also uses white chocolate, milk and honey.
People in Aomori prefecture, home to Misawa Air Base, can try the Buzzing Apple Strawberry Frappuccino, which pays homage to the prefecture being the country’s No. 1 apple producer.
The Okinawa Chinsuko Vanilla Caramel Frappuccino includes a traditional shortbread-like cookie, called a chinsuko, that’s popular in the southern island prefecture.
This sweet and salty treat uses a vanilla base and caramel sauce, with chinsuko is blended into the beverage. It’s topped with whipped cream and crumbled chinsuko. Reporter Matthew M. Burke, based out of Camp Foster, said it has a nice cookie-dough taste and is very filling.
Japan’s first Starbucks opened in Tokyo’s fashionable Ginza district in 1996. Since then, it has expanded to over 1,000 locations across the country, including a reserve roastery in Tokyo and an Edo-style storefront in the historic city of Kawagoe.
STARBUCKS’ JIMOTO FRAPPUCCINOS
Locations: Unique flavors can be found at Starbucks locations in all 47 of Japan’s prefectures.
Hours: Most shops are open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Prices: About $6 for a 12-ounce serving
Information: Online: www.starbucks.co.jp/cafe/jimoto_frappuccino