This is what Christmas dessert looks like in Japan.
Even though Halloween is still over a month away, Lawson convenience stores around the country are already accepting orders for their 2016 Christmas cake lineup from 20 September. While their catalogue features all the usual Japanese favourites like fruit cakes and red-and-white coloured strawberry shortcakes, this year there are also a trio of cute characters available, in the form of Kumamoto’s regional black bear mascot Kumamon, and well-known relaxed bears Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma.
What makes the cakes even more appealing is the fact that they come packed separately from their decorative components, meaning families can bring each character to life themselves, and feel like they’re “making” their Christmas cake together. The black Kumamon cake is ready and waiting to be decorated with his distinctive mouth, ears, eyes, and red cheeks, along with a white chocolate pen for filling out the character’s eyebrows. Inside, the cake is filled with delicious layers of cocoa sponge, whipped custard and chocolate cream.
Rilakkuma and his white friend Korilakkuma are also ready to be brought to life with their distinctive features. Rilakkuma contains layers of whipped custard and caramel cream inside a rolled sponge covered in a custard cream glaze, while Korilakkuma contains whipped cream and strawberry flavours.
All three cakes are priced at 3,500 yen (US$34.77) and can be ordered at Lawson stores around the country up until 15 December. Only limited quantities will be made available though, so if you’d like to celebrate Christmas with a cute Japanese character on the table, make sure you order soon to avoid missing out!