After more than 300 years in business, famous sweets shop gets first endorsement from the Pokémon star.
With so many of Japan’s significant economic and pop cultural entities being based in Tokyo, it can be easy to forget that Nintendo, one of the country’s biggest success stories, is headquartered in Kyoto. But thankfully, there’s now an adorable reminder of the company’s connection to Japan’s former capital, as one of Nintendo’s most famous characters, Pikachu, is teaming up with one of Kyoto’s most respected confectionary makers.
【新商品のお知らせ✨】 #ポケットモンスター 八ツ橋が登場‼️ 6月17日より、#ポケモンセンター キョウトにて先行販売します。 京都市内での取扱い店舗情報は、HPで更新いたしますので京都にお越しの際は是非お立ち寄りください🙌🌟… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…—
エクスアーツ@物販情報 (@XartsMD) June 13, 2017
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon TV series, which is an impressive milestone for an anime. Still, Pikachu and his pals have a long way to go before they match the longevity of Shogoin, a traditional Japanese candy maker that was founded in 1689. Shogoin’s specialty is nama yatsuhashi, bite-sized morsels of sweet bean paste wrapped in a chewy rice flour coating.
Nama yatsuhashi are most commonly seasoned with kinako, a soy powder that tastes similar to sweet cinnamon, but a popular variation uses matcha green tea powder. And as if that wasn’t tempting enough, starting this month special boxes of Shogoin’s matcha nama yatsuhashi will be graced by Pikachu himself, standing on the cobblestone street called Nene no Michi, which lies in Kyoto’s historical Higashiyama district and takes its name from Nene, the wife of 16th century samurai warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
600 yen (US$5.40) gets you 10 nama yatsuhashi, inside a box wrapped with the special illustration, which you’ll want to remove very carefully to avoid tearing Pikachu in half. You also get a post card featuring the same artwork, which you can send to a friend who loves Pokémon or, more likely, keep for yourself.
The Pikachu nama yatsuhashi goes on sale June 17 at the Pokémon Center Kyoto megastore and later this month at souvenir shops in Kyoto and Japan’s central Kansai region.