These chocolate watermelon dango are a summertime-only product so popular they sell out every year. They are back again for 2018 and went on sale on May 30 online.
The popular treat was first seen back in 2015 and has been released every year since, selling out every time. The idea was thought up by young company employees to tackle the problem of getting the younger popular to eat more traditional Japanese sweets, as well as a way to make customers happy in the summer.
It’s a difficult process getting the flavour of watermelon just right of when it comes to sweets, but after plenty of trial and error by the artisans who produced this new product, they finally did it. Compared to the first test they did, these is 7x more watermelon juice inside.
Sesame seeds were used for the watermelon pips and a specially blended chocolate coating was created by chocolatiers to drizzle on the outer layer. The unique striped pattern hasn’t changed since the dango’s initial released – each and every one is hand drawn one by one. Also, to make it even more delicious this year, the chocolatiers have improved their chocolate recipe.
In 2016, the product was chosen as ‘an excellent regional product Japan can boast to the world,’ and was also chosen to feature in The Wonder 500, a collection of Japan’s finest goods, foods and travel experiences.
Try the delicious watermelon dango yourself this summer!
Pocky on the Rocks, Popular Since the 1970s, Reimagined for Modern Tastes
13.June.2022 | FOOD
Pocky is one of the most popular Japanese snacks around the world, and a new way to enjoy it is here. Since the 1970s, Pocky on the Rocks has been a popular way to enjoy the tasty treats during the summer. A modern version has just been unveiled, and six special boxes with exclusive designs will be released on June 14 along with a new campaign, recipe submission contest, and a collaboration with select cafes around Japan.
Pocky on the Rocks was first introduced in an ad campaign in 1976. People began putting Pocky sticks in a cool glass filled with ice or using the sticks as muddlers for alcoholic drinks. This stylish summer snack has been reimagined for 2022, and customers are inspired to pair the sticks with their favorite drink, stick them into ice cream, or add them to a cup of seasonal fruit!
Pocky on the Rocks in the 1970s
Pocky on the Rocks Today
Collaboration with 5 Cafes in Tokyo and Kansai
Cafe Roman – Takadanobaba, Tokyo
Cafe Negura – Shimokitazawa, Tokyo
Dark Cherry Soda
DORSIA – Sannomiya, Kobe
Heart Strawberry Milk
Sunshine Cafe – Higashi-Umeda, Osaka
Almond Mixed Juice
Poem Cafe – Motomachi, Kobe
Pocky’s limited edition packaging, coming June 14, will feature a recipe for the 2022 Pocky on the Rocks. A recipe submission contest will also be held on Instagram, and anyone can participate. On the campaign website, fans can find collaboration recipes made in conjunction with five different cafes around Tokyo and the Kansai region. Of course, you can also grab these treats at each shop!
Fans can win retro goods in another ongoing campaign simply by snapping a picture of a Pocky receipt.
You’ve probably tried Pocky before, but have you ever tried Pocky on the Rocks?
Japanese Confectionary Series Tabemas Releases Chiikawa Sweets at FamilyMart Stores
12.April.2022 | FOOD
Bandai’s Japanese confectionary project Tabemas has been transforming popular characters into tasty treats for years. Starting April 5, over 16,600 FamilyMart stores nationwide will offer sweets inspired by illustrator nagano’s popular characters Chiikawa and Usagi!
This is the first time these characters have been featured in the Tabemas series. Fans can grab Chiikawa with sparking eyes or smiling with red cheeks, a sparkly-eyed Usagi, and the adorable cat Hachiware. It will be difficult to eat something so painfully cute, but each is sure to taste delicious! The Chiikawa sweets are milk and custard flavored, Usagi is sweetened with caramel, and Hachiware offers the taste of strawberry milk.
(C)nagano / chiikawa committee
Chiikawa & Usagi Tabemas
Price: ¥398 each (Tax Included)
Release Date: April 5 ~
Where to Buy: Chilled Dessert Corners at 16,600 participating FamilyMart Stores Nationwide
*Limited quantities available.
*May not be available at all locations.
Fujiya Celebrates 111th Anniversary with Milky Sweet Retro Accommodation Plan
04.April.2022 | SPOT
Fujiya is celebrating 111 years with a special collaboration with Hoshino Resort! The sweets company is well-known for ‘Milky,’ one of the most popular candies in Japan, and now, fans of these sweets can surround themselves completely with retro vibes. To inspire younger generations to travel again, a Milky-inspired room plan is now available to book.
Four Unique Features of the Milky Sweet Accommodation Plan
１. A Milky Sweet Room with a Retro Feel!
This sweet room is completely covered with retro Milky style! The candy’s mascot Peko-chan takes center stage in Taisho clothing, and guests can enjoy a Milky snack set and Milky bath salts to complete this one-of-a-kind experience.
2. Become Peko-chan with Adorable Costumes!
Dress up as Peko-chan with your best friend and take some hilarious pictures! These tops and overalls are included with the room, but feel free to wear them out and about.
3. Milky-flavored Popcorn Available in Collaboration with TAMARIBA!
Popcorn sweetened with Milky powder is now available at TAMARIBA. Enjoy this tasty treat as you explore the grounds, and enjoy the special bag featuring Peko-chan.
Location: TAMARIBA / Available: 15:00-19:00 / Price: Free
*Available while supplies last
4. Enjoy Special Experiences at BEB5 Karuizawa and BEB5 Tsuchiura
Find Retro Peko-chan in Karuizawa Hoshino!
All-you-can-eat French Toast with Milky Sauce
Make a Milky Smoothy on a Bike!
Peko-chan Retro Photo Cycling Tour in Tsuchiura!
Milky Sweet Room Plan
Available: April 1 – June 30, 2022
Reservations Now Open
*Reservations required at least 4 days in advance
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Hakodate Sweets Shop Senshu An for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
23.March.2022 | FASHION
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is staying active in 2022. Next month, the singer will finally take to the stage at Coachella 2022 in California. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities. Finally making it to the northern Japan city of Hakodate, details surrounding the singer’s sweet new collaboration have been announced!
Kyary is teaming up with the traditional Japanese confectionary shop Senshu An in Hakodate, founded over 162 years ago. This time, the special collaboration logo was inspired by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s 2012 hit Candy Candy. The logo was originally written traditionally in black ink, but it’s recieved a major pop makeover in pastel shades of yellow and green to pay homage to the set of the Candy Candy music video.
The shop is well-known for its original Yama Oyaji, a popular souvenir from Hokkaido. The new collab product feature Kyary’s face and dancers, perfect for fans of the singer–though they might be a little too adorable to eat. Made one by one by skilled craftsman using carefully selected Hokkaido azuki beans as the base, each sweet features soft pastel colors to welcome spring. The sweets are placed in a special package wrapped in original collaborative wrapping paper. Be sure to grab them from the online store before they’re gone on April 18!
A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. Get one from the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website by March 30!
Senshu An (Hakodate) x LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project
Available while Supplies Last at Hakodate City Hall
Available to purchase online until April 18, 2022
Where to Purchase: LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project Online Shop
Sales Period: March 17 – March 30 at 23:59
Official Site: https://localpowerjapan.com
Japanese Sweets Brand Tohouen Offers Cherry Blossom & Cat-Inspired Spring Manju
09.March.2022 | FOOD
Tohouen, a Japanese confectionary maker in Gifu Prefecture, has begun selling a springtime version of its popular cat-inspired manju. Inspired by the many cats that like to stroll around the shop’s headquarters, the new release includes cherry blossom-colored cat paws.
A traditional sweet in Japan, Manju is made from flour, rice powder, and buckwheat, with a tasty sugar and anko (red bean paste) filling.
Do you think these are too cute to eat?
Cherry Blossom Cat
Release Date: March 2, 2022
Where to Buy: Tohouen Stores, Tohouen Online Shop
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Announces Collaboration with 165-Year-Old Confectionary Shop ‘Koeido’
15.February.2022 | FOOD
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major-label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is back in the news. The artist will perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, and recently released her first full-length album in three years ‘Candy Racer’ in October 2021. On January 16, Kyary embarked on the largest tour of her career, ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ which will see the singer performing 30 shows across Japan. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities. Following a T-shirt collaboration with a 156-year-old kamaboko shop in Kanagawa, Kyary has teamed up with Gunma-based ekiben maker Oginoya to release her own bento box!
On February 6, Kyary held a concert in Okayama–the next stop on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project. This time, the singer is collaborating with a 165-year-old Japanese confectionary shop named Koeido. The store is famous for its original kibidango, a type of sweet mochi dumpling.
As part of the ‘Collaboration Logo’ project, partner companies see their traditional logos transformed as a tribute to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s works. This time, the motif was inspired by ‘KPP BEST,’ an album released in 2016.
Original Kyaridango: ¥1,300 (Tax Included) / 15 pieces
These tasty ‘Original Kyarydango’ have the same taste as traditional kibidango, but feature Kyary’s face printed in edible ink. These sweet sets were sold in limited quantities at the Okayama Civic Hall, and are now available to purchase on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website until February 20.
A T-shirt featuring the collaboration logo has also been revealed. The front features the Original Kyarydango and the updated logo, while the back is decorated with the Kyary 10th Anniversary logo and project logo. The shirt is also available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project website.
Koeido (Okayama) x LPJP Collaboration Kibidango ‘Original Kyaridango’
Price: ¥1,300 (Tax Included) / 15 pieces
Address: Okayama Civic Hall (2-2-1 Marunouchi, Kita-ku, Okayama)
Running: February 6 – February 20 at 23:59
LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project Online Shop: https://store-localpowerjapan.com/
*These products are made to order. Shipping is scheduled for the end of February.
Koeido (Okayama) LPJP Collaboration T-shirt
Price: ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Available: February 6 – February 20 at 23:59
LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project Online Shop: https://store-localpowerjapan.com/
*Please allow two weeks to one month from the time your order is placed for item to ship. Part of the proceeds from the sales of these T-shirts will be donated to selected recipients for local development and social contributions.
Sweets Brand Made in Pierre Hermè Releases New Sugar-Coated Cookies
20.December.2021 | FOOD
Made in Pierre Hermè, a sweets brand dedicated to sharing the wonders of Japan with the world, is now selling karintou, a type of fried-dough cookie coated in brown sugar and sesame seeds.
The thinly-baked cookies have a gentle sweetness from the domestic flower, and combined with the fragrant sesame seeds baked into the dough, it’s impossible to eat only one.
Left: Shimantogawa Genryu Green Tea: ¥1,404 / Right: Shimantogawa Genryu Roasted Green Tea: ¥1,404
These tea varieties are the best to enjoy with karintou. Grown in the tea fields above the Shimanto River in Kochi Prefecture, these leaves are surrounded by fresh water and clean air. Thanks to the moderate temperature and the natural veil created by the fog, sunlight is slightly blocked, giving a more mellow flavor to each green tea.
Made in Pierre Hermè
Official Site: https://www.pierreherme.co.jp/ph/
Adorable Hamster-shaped Cakes from Kyoto Now on Sale
13.December.2021 | FOOD
Aoki Koetsudo, a 129-year-old confectionery shop in Kyoto, and 2:00, a Kyoto-based company specializing in unique products, have come together to create some incredibly cute hamster-shaped cakes. These pastries are called monaka, and feature azuki bean jam filling sandwiched between two crisp wafers made from mochi. Each set includes 6 wafers, six helpings of bean jam, and a bag of nuts, so customers can enjoy creating the pastries themselves!
How to Enjoy Hamster Monaka
Fill the Hamster-shaped monaka with as much azuki jam as you like.
Cover the monaka with the wafer and add one of the nuts provided.
Paint the eyes and ears with chocolate to give each pastry some personality!
Autumn Sweet Potato Frappuccino Now Available at Starbucks Japan
22.September.2021 | FOOD
Fall is in the air, which means seasonal treats are back at Starbucks! The Sweet Potato Frappuccino will be available at participating Starbucks locations beginning September 22, which also happens to be the first day of autumn.
The 4th annual Artful Autumn @ Starbucks promotion is back for 2021! This year’s concept is ‘Made by Earth,’ and the lineup of new products features fall ingredients that highlight the bounty of the planet.
Tall Sweet Potato Frappuccino To-Go: ¥638 / In-store: ¥650
The new drink is filled with the flavor of baked sweet potato, honey, and molasses. Each beverage is made with roasted sweet potatoes that have been cut into pieces, keeping some of their unique texture. Sweet potato flakes sprinkled on top add a bit of crunch!
If you’re in Japan, be sure to grab one before they’re gone!
Sweet Potato Frappuccino®
Available: September 22, 2021 – October 19, 2021 (While supplies last.)
Where: Participating Starbucks locations nationwide.
Official Site: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/
Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Two-Layer Mizu Yokan
With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s Easy Recipe! With just a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.
Today, I’ll teach you how to make two-layer Mizu Yokan, perfect for a hot summer day!
You don’t even need an oven to make this sweet treat–just let it chill and harden! It’s great as a summer vacation snack.
This recipe makes 2 cups.
For Mizu Yokan:
120g fine-grained sweet bean paste
Pinch of salt
1-2g Kanten powder
For Matcha Flavoring:
1-2g Kanten powder
Place bean paste, water, salt, and Kanten powder into a pot and boil until dissolved.
⚠The Kanten powder needs to be heated for a further 1-2 minutes after boiling to harden properly. After boiling, reduce heat to low.
Pour mixture into container.
After about 30 minutes at room temperature, the mixture will start to harden. Work on the matcha flavoring when it begins to harden.
Place matcha, water, sugar, and Kanten powder in a pot and boil thoroughly.
As you did with the Mizu Yokan, reduce heat to low and continue cooking through.
When the mixture is heated through, gently pour it over the Mizu Yokan and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This is delicious with a variety of toppings, from red bean paste and fresh cream to Shiratama dumplings and fresh fruit!
Minion-themed Sweets Return to Lawson Convenience Stores Across Japan
Bandai Candy’s Tabemas series of Japanese sweets are releasing a fan favorite yet again! Minion-themed wagashi are making a triumphant return to Lawson convenience stores in Japan (excluding Natural Lawson and Lawson Store 100) on August 10, 2021.
The line-up includes popular characters from the Despicable Me and Minions film series: the childish Bob, prank-loving Stuart, and the leader of the group, Kevin. After a popular release in 2020, it’s no wonder they’re back!
Tabemas, a portmanteau of ‘edible’ and ‘mascot,’ is a series of traditional confections made to look like well-known characters, crafting them out of ingredients such as red bean paste, rice flour, and sugar. Each Minion is faithfully crafted in edible fashion, from the goggles to the hairstyles.
While the sweets are filled with red bean paste, a traditional flavor in Japanese sweets, each character has a different flavor: Bob is banana (his favorite), Stuart is strawberry, and Kevin is chocolate. As delicious as these treats may be, they’re almost too cute to eat! We’d recommend taking a few snaps for Instagram before digging in.
The Minions aren’t the only characters the Tabemas series has made into edible creations: other popular releases include familiar faces from Rilakkuma, Sumikko Gurashi, One Piece, Snoopy, Kirby, Doraemon, Yo-kai Watch, Sailor Moon, Detective Conan, and a collection of beloved Sanrio and Disney characters!
Which Minion is your favorite flavor?
Minions Franchise (C) Universal City Studios LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Tabemas Minion 2021 Bob/Stuart/Kevin
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Where to Buy: At the chilled desserts section of Lawson convenience stores across Japan
Product Lineup: https://www.bandai.co.jp/candy/tabemas/
*Not available at Natural Lawson or Lawson Store 100
*Available while supplies last
*Stock date may differ from branch to branch
*Select stores not participating
*Tabemas is a registered trademark of Bandai Co. Ltd
Evolutionary Japanese Sweets That Combines the Essence of Ohagi and Western Confectionary
04.August.2021 | FOOD
Niigata prefecture is known for being a treasure trove of gastronomy, specializing in rice and sake products. Locals will be familiar with the long running Japanese sweet stores in the area, most of which incorporate the areas speciality rice and sake into their products.
“We want to let people know about Niigata’s amazing sweets and spread the word about our local produce.”
With this in mind, a new “evolutionary” style of Japanese confectionary (Wagashi) was created, combining the traditional taste of Japan with the essence of the modern era to invoke both newness and nostalgia.
Mandai Bean Paste is the signature treat from the new Evolutionary Wagashi selection, made with the ever-popular Ohagi in mind. The mochi is made in partnership with a long-established Niigata confectionary store with over 200 years of experience in the prefecture.
The mochi is made using Shinnosuke, a new Niigata-based rice brand known for it’s rich taste, while the Bandai-an bean paste filling is created by a long-standing local Anko store.
Each Ohagi is hand wrapped in store, with 12 delicious flavors available, including some seasonal fruits.
Unlike any normal Ohagi, this Evolutionary Wagashi is combined with seasonal fruits, nuts, and mascarpone cheese, adding an essence of Western flavoring to the traditional Japanese confectionary.
The new store will be opening in the center of Niigata city, with a concept of “Long-established modern.”
Just like their modern twist on timeless Japanese sweets, Bandai-an has created a fitting space that combines the dignified image of a traditional store with modern sensibilities.
These modern sweets can be enjoyed in all kinds of settings, so why not try them for yourself?
Niigata Anko Bandai-an
Location: 2-2-9, Higashi Ōdoori, Chuo-ku, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00~ 18:00
Official Site : http://bandaian.com