Nelson: We had such a good experience with plum wine the first time that we tried it again. We bought this at a local grocery store and served it with ice at the ryokan. There are plums inside the glass as well. It didn't turn out to be as good as our first experience, as it was still sweet and a bit sour, but the alcohol taste was much stronger than before.
In Japan, not only can you buy cold drinks, but you can also buy hot drinks to go. Convenience stores will have an anti-refrigerator section which is heated and contains hot drinks like coffee and tea in plastic bottles. Neat. I bet some people would have an issue with having a hot liquid in a plastic container, but you have to admit it is convenient. Even vending machines (not pictured) throughout Japan serve hot drinks!
This next time, we were waiting around for a bit and decided to wait at the bar. We ordered a plum wine and a Sapporo. Of course the Sapporo came in a frosted glass. Meanwhile, the plum wine was served from a huge homemade jug the owner brought out from under the counter. After asking Jeff about it, apparently it is common for places to make their own plum wine and serve that. There are kits that can be bought that help you make your own plum wine. This homemade plum wine was good, but fairly diluted with all that ice. I drank this pretty fast and it was refreshing.
What goes well with beer? In Japan, the most common bar snack is rice crackers. We bought these at the 100 yen store and they turned out to be really really tasty. Crunchy, salty and flavourful, I can see why it goes so well with beer!
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