Exploring the Unique Flavors of ANA's Aromatic Kabosu
Learn more about ANA’s exclusive beverage, Aromatic Kabosu
and the unique place it is sourced.
A half-hour after takeoff, you find yourself gazing out of the window from seat 22A, watching the clouds swiftly pass by. Drink service has just begun, and you find yourself pondering a choice between a cola or a cup of green tea. A nearby passenger places an order for an "Aromatic Kabosu," leaving you curious about this peculiar beverage. So, what exactly is the "Aromatic Kabosu," and what makes it so unique?
ANA’s Signature Drink: Aromatic Kabosu
The “Aromatic Kabosu” is ANA’s exclusive signature beverage, crafted from kabosu juice and honey. Kabosu is a green citrus fruit, similar in appearance to a lemon or a lime, and is most commonly grown in the Oita prefecture.
Shun Nakatani, from ANA’s product and services planning team, shared his insights on this exclusive beverage and the future of ANA’s culinary services.
“In 2009, ANA introduced the Aromatic Kabosu as a unique and memorable part of the passenger experience. This juice, made exclusively for ANA, was designed to showcase the essence of Japanese flavors,” said Nakatani.
Over the years, ANA has introduced several original beverages, yet none have maintained a consistent presence quite like the Aromatic Kabosu, a testament to the drink’s popularity. The beverage is served on all international routes across all classes of service. However, due to high demand, the Aromatic Kabosu is also available for purchase domestically within Japan through ANA’s online shop A-Style (website only in Japanese).
While the Aromatic Kabosu may be described as “Japanese lemonade,” such a description does not capture the true essence of the beverage. This drink is meticulously crafted from kabosu fruit juice, so there is no bitterness, and the addition of honey gives the drink a subtle sweetness. Notably, ANA sources its fruit for the Aromatic Kabosu from the Oita prefecture, where it produces 98% of Japan's kabosu (as of 2018).
Why not consider a trip to Oita to explore the fruit and its profound significance to this prefecture?
Home of Kabosu: Oita Prefecture
Located less than 500 miles southwest of Tokyo, Oita is a short 1 hour 45-minute flight from Haneda Airport. Here, one can discover Oita's beloved local specialties infused with kabosu flavors and have the opportunity to relax in the numerous onsen, or hot springs, that dot the prefecture.
We caught up with Yutaka Takeshita, general manager at ANA Akindo Oita to gain insights into the Oita region's prime destinations for experiencing kabosu.
The Oita prefecture is home to Usuki, one of two UNESCO City of Gastronomy designated cities in Japan. Here, we find Pub Bouquet, where skilled bartenders create unique cocktails utilizing locally sourced kabosu fruit. Among their signatures, the “Takeyoi” features a shaken cocktail made of sake, kabosu juice and green tea liquor, topped with ginger ale and garnished by a kabosu peel.
Venturing into the heart of Oita, we find a local restaurant ‘Kurakake,’ which serves traditional Japanese dishes with a twist of kabosu. Miso soup and fall delicacies such as grilled mackerel pike (sanma) are artfully paired with fresh kabosu to give the dishes a subtle punch of flavor. Additionally, Oita's iconic toriten, or chicken tempura, can be savored with a squeeze of kabosu juice. The menu at 'Kurakake' also features the “Usuki Bowl,” a refreshing, shareable drink crafted with ice, shochu and kabosu slices served in a large bowl.
Embark on a voyage to Beppu, known as Japan's hot springs capital, and unwind at the ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa. Soak in the outdoor hot springs while taking in the sprawling panoramic views of Beppu’s nature.
ANA Group operates multiple daily roundtrip flights between Oita and Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, making this destination easily accessible from major cities in Japan. Be sure to check out the gift shops at the Oita Airport to take home delicious foods and treats featuring kabosu!
Vision for the Future
Looking ahead, ANA is committed to the “universalization of food.” With the goal of making food options regardless of limitations, ANA is actively creating a revamped menu that emphasizes healthy eating.
“While the cabin of the airplane remains the same, our onboard dining experience is constantly changing with the seasons,” Nakatani said. By offering flavors unique to ANA’s journey, his team hopes to create unforgettable experiences for passengers.
With new ANA original products in the works, ANA Group continues to strive to create an in-flight experience that is unique and exclusive to ANA. We invite you to kick back and relax on your next flight with a cup of ANA’s original beverage, the Aromatic Kabosu juice!
247 Nioza, Usuki-shi, Oita, 875-0043
3-5-13 Funai-machi, Oita, 870-0021