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Kimura Fukumaneki Soda: After having previously reviewed yuzu soda from Kimino (a 5.0!), I looked up other distributors of the fantastic beverage and came across Umami Mart in Oakland. I decided to pay it a visit to see what other tasty snacks it might sell. Umami Mart is a largely sake-focused store that sells a variety of barware and ceramics. In the back of the store is where the snacks are, with products like Japan’s famed KitKat flavors and bags of Umaibo. It’s basically a limited selection of what you can get from Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley, more organized and nicely presented but with a 1.5x markup to match (for example, the $2.50 yuzu soda you can get at Monterey Market is $4 here). They also have a small fridge of non-alcoholic drinks, which is where I found this lucky-cat bottle. The label obscures the bottle’s caramel-colored liquid contents. I really wanted to like this soda because of the lucky cat, but to be honest, it tasted like a diluted ramune sweetened with honey. At the end of the day, I’d prefer the playful marble soda, without any of the pretense, over this nicely branded package. 2.5/5.0

2.5 fukumaneki kimura ramune japanese soda drinks