To celebrate 25 years in Japan, Japanese Starbucks will release 47 different limited edition Frappuccinos for all 47 prefectures. Starbucks Japan will start selling these limited Frappuccinos starting June 30, 2021 through August 3, 2021.
Starbucks Japan is notorious for serving the most interesting monthly Frappuccinos such as the yearly sakura Frappuccino, a s’mores Frappuccino, and even an American cherry pie Frappuccino. Keep reading for explanations how each new flavor ties into each region’s agriculture and history!
How do you get limited edition Frappuccinos?
Starbucks Japan usually releases a limited edition Frappuccino once a month. Upon release, the stock can quickly sells out, sometimes for the day, sometimes for the whole month. Your best bet to ensure getting one of these Frappuccinos is to go as early in the sales period as possible and go to the store first thing in the morning.
Limited Edition Prefectural Jimoto Frappuccino
When traveling in Japan, you’ll notice a lot of regional pride. Japan has 47 prefectures, and every prefecture is proud of their regional specialties. Jimoto means “local” and to celebrate regional specials, Starbucks Japan created 47 different Frappuccinos inspired by every prefecture’s unique identity. To develop each recipe, Starbucks worked with local suppliers to develop these flavors. Each Jimoto Frappucinos can only be bought in its respective prefecture, so if you want to try them all you might need a train pass! Several of the names of the drinks also include references to regional dialects.
All 47 Jimoto Frappuccinos Explained
Hokkaido & Tohoku Region
Hokkaido’s specialty Frappuccino is called the Hokkaido Corn Creamy Frappuccino. Within Japan, Hokkaido is famous for being the best place for food! Hokkaido is most famous for dairy, crab, ramen, Sapporo beer, potatoes, and of course corn. Don’t be put off by the presence of the corn, Starbucks says that the drink is only 5% corn.
Aomori is the number one producer of apples in Japan and host the famous Nebuta Festival. The Nebuta Festival early August festival with illuminated floats, dancers, and fireworks. While summer is a great time to visit Aomori, it also has famous sakura spots to see in spring and beautiful fall colors!
The Iwate Frappuccino uses matcha and black sesame to reflect the image of Mt. Iwate. The brown sugar caramel drizzle is meant to reflect on the “golden history” of Iwate. This “golden history” can refer to the UNESCO World Heritage site in Hiraizumi, Iwate where the temple Chusonji houses a golden hall.
Miyagi prefecture is home to Sendai, one of Japan’s largest cities and home to its regional food Zunda Mochi. Zunda Mochi is a type of mochi covered in crushed edamame. Around the city of Sendai, you can find many different types of Zunda flavored foods! Sendai is also the setting of anime like Haikyuu! and the basis of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4’s Morioh, and the former home of the legendary warlord Date Masamune. Pick up a Frappuccino on your way to his mausoleum!
Since one of Akita’s most notable features is the beautiful natural scenery, this Frappuccino incorporates local salt as a mineral that’s a part of that scenery. Akita is famous for beautiful natural, mineral rich onsen. If you have the chance to visit one, you’re in for a treat! It’s common to drink a nice cold glass of milk after relaxing in an onsen, so maybe this Frappuccino is a good substitute. While you’re visiting you might see the local dog breed, also named Akita!
Yamagata is famous for its greenery and mountains. Yamagata has a famous onsen, Ginza Onsen, that is said to be one of the references for Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away. Ginza Onsen and Yamagata are beautiful in the winter, so Starbucks decided to put whipped cream as the bottom layer to represent the snow cover mountains. The drink uses the famous local pear called “La France” for the dessert like drink!
Fukushima is famous for a variety of fruits! The most famous fruit is peaches, but Fukushima is also grows strawberries, figs, apples, and pears. The drink is made by combining mango passion fruit tea and a peach Frappuccino.
Ibaraki’s Frappuccino celebrates melons. Ibaraki is most famous natto, fermented soybean commonly eaten with soy sauce and mustard. While a natto Frappuccino would have made for an interesting drink, Starbucks decided to go with a more approachable melon flavor instead. Ibaraki is currently the number one producer of melons in Japan. The drink is a mixture of white chocolate and melons.
The wonderful Tochigi Prefecture is famous for strawberries and Nikko Toshogun, but did you know it’s also famous for lightning? Tochigi Prefecture has most lightning strikes in Japan, so Starbucks decided to make a lightning inspired drink! The drink is made with a mocha base and has whipped cream and a mango drizzle to symbolize the lightning cutting through the darkened sky.
Gunma prefecture’s famous for milk and dairy products. Starbucks came up with the idea to make Gunma’s Frappuccino a mango lassi like drink. The drink uses yogurt to represent Gunma’s dairy production and mango for the color of renge tsutsuji, a local variety of azalea.
Saitama is a very diverse place with beautiful historic spots, such as Kawagoe, beautiful natural scenery, such as Nagatoro and Chichibu, sprawling suburbs, and cities. To incorporate that, Starbucks decided to go with a citrus theme with a variety of fruits and pulps, including yuzu fruit and strawberry sauce. The red symbolizes spider lilies, a famous flower in Saitama, and the yellow for the sun.
The number one producer of soy sauce in Japan is Chiba prefecture. For Chiba prefecture’s Frappuccino, Starbucks took inspiration from soy sauce and dango. Dango are common street food rice dumplings. Dango commonly found from everywhere from street food stalls to convenient stores to supermarkets. The Frappuccino uses the mitarashi dango sauce, a sweet sauce made from sugar, water, and soy sauce. This is a great Frappuccino for when you’re strolling around Tokyo Disney Land or on your way to Nokogiriyama!
Starbucks Japan started in Ginza, Tokyo. To celebrate Japan’s largest city, Starbucks used coffee jelly sinkers, espresso base, and a caramel sauce. Coffee jelly has been a staple of the Japanese coffee scene for years, and it is a popular treat found around kissaten that you can find in places like Ginza. Coffee jelly makes for a great summer treat and I am sure this Frappuccino will be refreshing on those hot Tokyo summer afternoons!
Kanagawa is a beautiful sea side prefecture facing the Pacific Ocean. It is home to wonderful cities like Kamakura, Enoshima, and Yokohama. Within Japan, it is thought of as a beautiful trendy place with a kind of Hawaiian vibe to it, so you will see your fair share of surfers and other beach goers. To match this vibe, Starbucks created a blue butterfly peach tea drink, mixed with cream to symbolize the blue sky and the blue seas. The Frappuccino is topped with a citrus sauce to reflect the sun rays bouncing off the ocean.
Starbucks decided to include the Niigata classic Kaki no Tane snack in their Frappuccino. Kaki no Tane, translating to persimmon seeds, are a type of drinking snack found in conbini, supermarkets, and more all over Japan. They are a savory treat that come in mixtures like trail mix. To bring this savory treat into the Frappuccino territory, Starbucks combined it with chocolate to give it a chocolate bar concept.
With Toyama Prefecture, Starbucks created a watermelon Frappuccino topped with matcha powder and chocolate sauce to mimic the outside of a watermelon. Toyama grows the largest watermelons in Japan and has a very unique way of packaging them. For upwards of $110, you can purchase a watermelon packaged in Toyama’s local wicker sandals. If you’re in Toyama, pick a Frappuccino up on your way to a watermelon farm!
Ishikawa is home to the Edo period cultural hot spot Kanezawa. Kaga Hojicha is Ishikawa’s famous original hojicha tea. To celebrate this tea, Starbucks took a simple and sophisticated approach by just blending it with a simple cream. Taste Ishikawa’s traditional tea at its best in this elegant Frappuccino.
Koshihikari rice is a type of rice created in Fukui Prefecture, grown in Japan, America, and Australia. Starbucks used koshihikari rice puffs to draw attention to this important agricultural marker. The drink is a white chocolate and matcha based drink, great to enjoy while you’re checking out the dinosaurs at the museum!
Yamanashi is another prefecture famous for its’ fruits, particularly grapes. Grape cultivation has been in Yamanashi for the past 1,300 years. Yamanashi cultivates the largest amount of grapes in Japan and also has many wine vineyards. If you can visit it, try out this grape and white chocolate Frappuccino. It’s an easy day trip from Shinjuku!
Nagano prefecture is the second largest producer of apples in Japan and to celebrate that fact, Starbucks Japan made an apple jam and caramel Frappuccino. Karuizawa, Nagano is a very famous vacation spot for rich families in Tokyo as many of them have second homes in Karuizawa. A popular souvenir from Karuizawa is jam, and this drink combined both apples and jam to represent the great prefecture of Nagano!
Starbucks Japan wanted to celebrate Gifu’s incredible nature scenery, so they recreated Gifu’s tree covered mountain ravines using matcha, coffee jelly, and whipped cream. One of the points that Starbucks wants to make is that because Gifu has so many beautiful natural spots, it is a great place to host a family barbecue!
Shizuoka is one of the two prefectures Mount Fuji crosses into. Starbucks decided to make a drink that captured Mount Fuji’s warmth and awe-inspiring presence. The drink is a mandarin orange and white chocolate blend, topped with whipped cream and dusted with match powder.
Aichi is home to Nagoya, one of the biggest cities in Japan and the most famous city for kissaten culture. Kissaten are an older style of coffee shop. Kissaten tend to serve more classic Japanese coffee shop things like melon soda floats, coffee jelly, and ogura toast. Ogura toast is an iconic part of Nagoya and has spread all over Japan. Ogura toast is toast topped with sweet red beans and butter. If visit Nagoya you can try different varieties of this amazing classic dish! To celebrate Nagoya’s impact on Japanese coffee culture, Starbucks included red beans, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and coffee in their Frappuccino. Enjoy all the classic Nagoya flavors in one drink!
Mie Prefecture is home to Japan’s most sacred shrine, Ise Grand Shrine. Starbucks uses a Ise tea to highlight Ise’s cultural heritage. The drink also combines the iconic yuzu fruit to emphasizes the warmth of Mie’s people. If you visit Ise Grand Shine, be sure to check out the Starbucks on Ohari Machi Dori and grab some street food!
Lake Biwa is an iconic and beautiful part of Shiga’s landscape. Starbucks Japan decided to focus on this feature of Shiga when designing the Frappuccino by using a butterfly pea tea for the rich blue of the lake and citrus topping to represent the sunset reflecting off Lake Biwa. The matcha dusted whipped cream represents the mountains surrounding the lake. The perfect drink to refresh yourself while relaxing by Japan’s largest lake!
Kyoto is one of Japan’s most famous cities and is the epicenter of traditional Japanese culture. Kyoto’s quinine is famous for foods such as kaiseki, matcha, and vegetarian food, but Kyoto is also famous for soy based foods. Traditional soy bean based foods like tofu and yuba are common in Kyoto, but you will also see treats like soy milk donuts around the city. To incorporate this spirt with Kyoto’s rich tea history, Starbucks designed a Frappuccino to include both matcha and kinako, roasted soy bean powder. Enjoy this drink at one of the tatami mat Starbucks in Kyoto!
Mixed juice is a juice originating from Osaka. It was created after the war when produce couldn’t be wasted. The idea was to make a juice from various fruits that were blemished and unsuitable for sales, but still perfectly fine for consumption. In the spirit of this zero-waste mentality, Starbucks created a mixed fruit Frappuccino containing bananas, apples, oranges, peaches, mango, and passion fruits. It is topped with a mango and chocolate drizzle. Starbucks hopes that this drink can appeal to adults and children alike with the fruity flavor.
Along with Kobe beef, Hyogo prefecture is famous for having a rich kissaten and cafe culture. To celebrate this richness, Starbucks made a dark chocolate Frappuccino with a dark chocolate drizzle and chocolate chips. This is a perfect drink to take with you as you stroll through the Kobe cityscape and take in the ocean views.
Nara is located a short train ride away from Kyoto and is most well known overseas for the aggressively friendly deer. In Japan, it’s most known for the temples and important parts of Japanese cultural heritage. With this in mind, Starbucks used hojicha and white chocolate to make a drink that celebrates the historical local cuisine. To match the hojicha flavor and represent the tree covered mountains, the drink is topped with matcha dusted whipped cream though it does resemble the deers’ fur ,too.
Wakayama is famous for mikan, a Japanese citrus similar to a tangerine. These fruits are truly a star of Wakayama’s produce, and Wakayama is the largest producer of mikan in Japan. To highlight the mikan in this Frappuccino, Starbucks decided to use a low fat milk so that the brightness of the citrus would stand out. This drink is a perfect representation of the fruit that Wakayama is so famous for!
Tottori is Japan’s least populated prefecture and it was also the last prefecture to get Starbucks. It is famous for sand dunes, natural beauty, being the setting of the popular swimming anime Free!, and it’s own knock off coffee chain “Sunaba.” Sunaba is a play on the Japanese nickname for Starbucks, Sutaba, and it has had been incredibly successful within the prefecture. While Tottori has the third highest coffee concentration in Japan, Starbucks didn’t break into the prefecture until 2015.
To celebrate Tottori’s commitment to coffee, the drink uses a coffee base with caramel and cream. The caramel dripping down the side of the cup represents Tottori’s famous and beautiful sand dunes. There is a dusting of glitter on top to represent the stars in Tottori’s clear night sky. Be sure to grab this Frappuccino on your way to trying Sunaba Coffee or the Aoyama Gosho Museum or Detective Conan Station or Detective Conan Airport!
Shimane is most well known for Izumo-Taisha, believed to be the oldest and one of the most important shrines in Japan. Izumo is mentioned in the oldest written histories about Japan, the Kojiki and Nihon-Shoki. This shrine is a marriage shine and the meeting place of the gods. Shimane also has a historic tea ceremony culture. To celebrate the concept of union and Shimane tea culture, Starbucks decided to do an East meets West concept by combining matcha and coffee to make this Frappuccino. The top is dusted with silver powder to highlight Shimane’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Iwami Ginza Silver Mine.
In Japan, when you hear peaches, you think Okayama. Okayama is famous for all kinds of fruit, but peaches take center stage. The famous Japanese folk tale Momotaro, also known as Peach Boy, is believed to have taken place in Okayama. The Japanese National Treasure, Kibitsu Shrine, has close ties to the legend of Momotaro. To celebrate Okayama’s connection to peaches, Starbucks created a unique peach and citrus Frappuccino.
Hiroshima is a prefecture with a heavy history and an optimistic vision for the future. Hiroshima’s Frappuccino is based off of the concept of “LOVE & PEACE HIROSHIMA.” Representing love, Starbucks used a passion fruit tea. Sweet whipped cream and honey represent peace. To bring in the concept of Hiroshima, Starbucks uses lemons, Hiroshima’s famous produce. Sip on this drink while visiting the Atom Bomb Dome, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the deer in Miyajima, or the locations from Yakuza 6 in Onomichi.
Yamaguchi is on the tip of Japan’s largest island, Honshu. Since Yamaguchi connects the islands Kyuushu and Honshu, Starbucks decided to use black sesame and matcha to represent that connection. Sesame seeds have been used as food, spices, and even in medicine throughout time, so sesame seeds are the way Starbucks uses the concepts of place and time. If you visit Yamaguchi, be sure to visit the Kamon Pedestrian Tunnel so you can stand on the islands of Honshu and Kyuushu at the same time!
Tokushima is the number one producer of sudachi in Japan. While yuzu might be gaining popularity overseas, sudachi is another popular Japanese citrus. This Frappuccino is a celebration of sudachi in the purest sense; it focuses on the sudachi and honey flavors. Sip on this drink while learning about the famous Awa Odori dancing festival!
Kagawa is a beautiful prefecture proud of their Kitsune Udon. While an udon Frappuccino would have been a fascinating take, Starbucks instead decided to incorporate the tea snack wasanbon. Wasanbon is a sweet typically eaten when participating in a tea ceremony. Pure matcha is extremely bitter. To counter act this bitterness, tea ceremony guests are given small sweets to enjoy before they drink their tea. The idea is that you mouth has a sweet after taste to prepare you to drink the bitter tea. Starbucks took this concept and decided to combine the tea snack and the tea into one drink with their wasanbon matcha Frappuccino!
While you typically think of mikan when you think of Ehime, Ehime is also Japan’s largest producer of kiwi fruit. In order to draw attention to Ehime’s kiwi production, Starbucks made a kiwi Frappuccino. This Frappuccino mixes in kiwi jam with a vanilla base to help this fruit shine!
Kochi is a prefecture facing the Pacific Ocean that has a great climate for agriculture. As Japan’s largest producer of ginger, Starbucks decided create a ginger-citrus Frappuccino. The Frappuccino uses a vanilla base, so the ginger should really give the drink a nice kick!
Kyushu Region & Okinawa
Fukuoka is home to the island of Kyuushu’s largest city of the same name, Fukuoka. This city is a large modern fun city with a rich food scene, famous for the ramen yatai you can see lining the streets a night. While modern Fukuoka cuisine in delicious, Starbucks decided to look back 800 years in time and incorporate Fukuoka’s local tea, yamecha. This Frappuccino uses a white chocolate base with yamecha tea, dusted with yamecha tea on top. Matcha has had so many opportunities to shine, give this local yamecha tea a try too!
For Saga, Starbucks designed a Frappuccino to draw attention to the historic Sugar Road. During the Edo period, the only trading outpost for international traders was located in Dejima, a small artificial island in Nagasaki Bay. To access Nagasaki, traders had to travel through Saga on the Sugar Road, making Saga an important trading route for Japan. This route was nicknamed Sugar Road because sugar was an important import from Europe traded in Dejima. Starbucks designed the Frappuccino making an artistic representation of the sugar road itself by using chocolate and white chocolate to create a road like sugar stripe down the side of the drink. Saga is also famous for beef and Karatsu, a popular resort town and the real life inspiration of Yuri!! on ICE‘s city Hasetsu.
Nagasaki has been a historic trading point in Japan since the Edo period. Some of the earliest European traders were the Dutch and the Portuguese which impacted Nagasaki’s food culture. One of the most famous impacts is bread being called by the Potruguese word “pan,” the existence of tempura, and the invention of castella. Castella is a popular cake that was heavily influence by Portuguese traders during the Edo period. For this castella Frappuccino, Starbucks Japan used a white chocolate and milk base mixed with espresso soaked castella, sweetened with honey. Try this Frappuccino while taking in Nagasaki’s historic Chinatown or visiting the abandoned island Gunkanjima, as seen in every visual kei music video ever, Battle Royal 2, and the James Bond film Skyfall.
Kumamoto is home to Mount Aso, one of Japan’s top 100 mountains. To showcase Mount Aso, Starbucks used a chocolate base with mocha powder and chocolate biscuits to add crunch. The drink is topped with chocolate biscuits and a strawberry drizzle to represent the passionate people of Kumamoto. Enjoy this drink while waiting in line to meet the beloved mascot character Kumamon or while strolling around the the Kumamoto Castle grounds.
Oita has the most most hot springs (onsen) in Japan, a fact that they wear with pride. For Oita’s Frappuccino, Starbucks uses they kabosu citrus. This citrus has a more subtle flavor, so they were able to keep the drink simple, by blending the citrus with ice and honey. They citrus pulp at the bottom is mean to represent bubbling onsen. This drink makes for a refreshing treat after a soak in a hot onsen!
Miyazaki prefecture has the most hours of sunlight out of all of the Japanese prefectures, so Starbucks decided to make a bright Frappuccino. This Frappuccino uses the local Miyazaki citrus, Hyuganatsu. This citrus combined with mango syrup gives the Frappuccino a brilliant color that is reminiscent of the prefecture’s sunshine.
The volcanic island of Sakurajima represents Kagoshima. This island is home to an active volcano, so to represent the natural volcano rocks, Starbucks used black honey and chocolate chips. The whipped cream is meant to represent smoke coming off the active volcano. Check out the natural beauty of Yakushima and the spas in Kirishima.
Starbucks Japan looks back on Okinawa’s Ryukyu roots by using chinsuko, a traditional shortbread-like sweet. This Frappuccino uses a vanilla base with chinsuko blended into the the drink itself, caramel sauce, and then topped with whipped cream and crumbled chinsuko. This drink is sure to delight with a salty and sweet flavors, if you’re in Okinawa be sure to pick one up!
Enjoy Regional Foods!
It is a delight to see so many regional foods incorporated into the Starbucks menu, even if only for a limited time. I hope that even if you aren’t able to give these Frappuccinos a try you’ve learned a little more about the different prefectures of Japan and found some places you’d like to visit. The Starbucks Frappuccinos may only be here for little bit, but if you visit these prefectures it’s common to find these flavors incorporated into regional cuisine and treats, so go out and try them!
Japanese Twitter has divided opinions on some of the flavors and how to best represent their prefectures. For example, Tochigi Prefecture, where I once lived, is incredibly famous for strawberries, but they made a chocolate flavor. Some of these Frappuccinos are intended to show off produce that the public might not realize comes from that prefecture, and some are just about identity. Let us know what you think!
What would your home’s regional Frappuccino look like? I’m from Texas, so I imagine barbecue but that might not be realistic. A realistic Frappuccino might be a pecan, caramel, and black pepper Frappuccino. I think the black pepper would give it an interesting kick!
What are your thoughts on these Frappuccinos? If you wanted to try all of them, it’ll cost you at least 32,900 yen (~$330) plus travel fare. I’m on a quest to try as many as I can, so if you would like to support this goal, consider buying me a coffee!