Japanese Cider vs Soda Drinks: What is the Difference?

Cider, which is represented as “サイダー” in the Japanese language, reminds people of a drink, but what the word means differs by country. 

Today, I learned from the article “サイダー” on Japanese Wikipedia that, in Britain and France, cider or cidre refers to an alcoholic beverage made from fermented apples.

Meanwhile, that article also states that, in North America (the United States and Canada), cider or apple cider can refer to an unfermented, nonalcoholic juice squeezed from apples.

Cider vs Soda Drinks in Japan

Then, what is the definition of “cider (サイダー)” in Japan, and how does it differ from “soda (ソーダ)”? As I researched these as well, this time, let me share the result with you.

Soda (ソーダ)

Soda Water

Soda as a drink is the abbreviation for “soda-sui (ソーダ水: soda water)”, which is sparkling water. Unflavored soda water is known as “plain soda”, which is used to dilute Western liquor in Japan.

Cider (サイダー)

Asahi Mitsuya Cider

Japanese cider is a nonalcoholic, carbonated beverage. It is a soft drink made of soda water that’s been sweetened with sugar, acidified with citric acid, and flavored with fruit flavoring (which is not limited to apple) or the like.

The most loved and best-selling cider brand in Japan is “Mitsuya Cider (三ツ矢サイダー)” from Asahi Soft Drinks, and the Ramune drink is also considered a variety of cider.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia サイダー, Kotobank ソーダ水 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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