Story

Shimo-Ochiai is a little town located in Tokyo.
It’s compactness and calm atmosphere make the visitor forget that they are actually in Shinjuku close to the very center of Tokyo.
The Iyoshi Cola factory is located along the banks of the Kanda River which runs through the center of the town, at a spot lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom in the springtime.

Originally, the location was home to the factory of Ryotaro Ito, a craftsman of traditional Japanese medicine.

Ryotaro Ito
At the age of 12, Ryotaro Ito became an understudy at a traditional Japanese medicine factory located in Sotokanda. He then opened a factory in Shimo-Ochiai under his own name, called Iyoshi Yakko, in 1954.

The representative of Iyoshi Cola, known as Kola Kobayashi , is the grandchild of Ryotarao Ito.
Cola enthusiast Kola Kobayashi has traveled throughout the world tasting cola, and he spent years attempting to create his own out of his desire to “create the ultimate cola that will bring joy to the person who drinks it.”

コーラ小林
At the age of 21, cola enthusiast Kola Kobayashi discovered a recipe for a cola produced over 100 years ago entirely by accident, and he began making cola purely out of curiosity.

Then, two and a half years later, he found himself back at his ancestral home to organize the belongings left behind by his grandfather who had passed away. As he looked over the documents and tools left behind at his grandfather’s traditional Japanese medicine factory, it occurred to him that many of those tools could also be used to make cola. He immediately began experimenting with different temperatures and processes, and this quickly resulted in cola that tasted significantly better. With this, Kola Kobayashi had broken out of his shell as a cola craftsman.

工房に遺された資料や道具

He realized, “This is probably something that only I can do.”

これは、自分にしかできないことかもしれない
Kola Kobayashi realized that all of the many experiences in his life to date had come together as part of a single path, including his fascination with cola brought about by his suffering from migraines, his discovery of the antique cola recipe, the fact that his grandfather was a traditional Japanese medicine craftsman, and his in-depth understanding of nature and experimentation from his studies of agriculture at university.

With that realization, and unable to wait any more, he built his own mobile stand, the Kawasemi-Go (The Kingfisher), and began selling cola at the Farmer’s Market in Aoyama, Tokyo in July 2018.

カワセミ号
The Kawasemi-Go, Kola Kobayashi's foodtruck, is designed to evoke a ship and represent a kingfisher.

The trade name of his operation is Iyoshi Cola. He adopted the trade name of his grandfather’s traditional Japanese medicine factory in order to carry on his grandfather’s spirit of craftsmanship.

He chose the kingfisher (Kawasemi in Japanese) as the motif for the logo, and created the category of “craft cola” to describe the cola he produces.

This was the moment that the world’s first maker and seller of craft cola was born.

カワセミ
The kingfisher is a bird known for diving into the water to catch fish. To put that in different words, the kingfisher is a bird that breaks away from its familiar world in the skies to enter the alien underwater environment to catch its meals. Thus, for Kola Kobayashi, the kingfisher represents the act of challenging common sense and stereotypes about cola, such as the idea that it cannot be made by hand or that it is unhealthy.

He believes that if those who discover Iyoshi Cola are surprised by the taste of his craft cola, their view of the world might change, they might be a little happier, and that might make the world a slightly better place.

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伊良コーラ IYOSHI COLA | クラフトコーラ専門店
At the age of 12, Ryotaro Ito became an understudy at a traditional Japanese medicine factory located in Sotokanda. He then opened a factory in Shimo-Ochiai under his own name, called Iyoshi Yakko, in 1954.
伊良コーラ IYOSHI COLA | クラフトコーラ専門店
At the age of 21, cola enthusiast Kola Kobayashi discovered a recipe for a cola produced over 100 years ago entirely by accident, and he began making cola purely out of curiosity.
伊良コーラ IYOSHI COLA | クラフトコーラ専門店
伊良コーラ IYOSHI COLA | クラフトコーラ専門店
Kola Kobayashi realized that all of the many experiences in his life to date had come together as part of a single path, including his fascination with cola brought about by his suffering from migraines, his discovery of the antique cola recipe, the fact that his grandfather was a traditional Japanese medicine craftsman, and his in-depth understanding of nature and experimentation from his studies of agriculture at university.
伊良コーラ IYOSHI COLA | クラフトコーラ専門店
The Kawasemi-Go, Kola Kobayashi's foodtruck, is designed to evoke a ship and represent a kingfisher.
伊良コーラ IYOSHI COLA | クラフトコーラ専門店
The kingfisher is a bird known for diving into the water to catch fish. To put that in different words, the kingfisher is a bird that breaks away from its familiar world in the skies to enter the alien underwater environment to catch its meals. Thus, for Kola Kobayashi, the kingfisher represents the act of challenging common sense and stereotypes about cola, such as the idea that it cannot be made by hand or that it is unhealthy.