Monday, August 31, 2009

The Kit Kat Contest is over.

Thanks to all that entered and I’ll be getting back to the winners later this week to get some mailing information.


Well Japan, it’s been fun.

But I’m going back home, back to the great white north of Canada. But I’ll miss so much of this great Asian country. I’ll miss all the great candy filled with chocolate and only somewhat repulsive some of the time.
I’ll miss all the crazy baked goods and 7-11 snacks, even the ones that made my skin crawl.
I’ll even miss you Mr Lemon drinks. There are so many to choose from and each is super yummy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ice Cream TV

The other day Allison and I decided to try out this new style of ice cream cone. The difference is the cone isn’t your typical ice cream cone; instead it’s a coronet, which is a type of bread.

They deep-fry it in oil before they put the ice cream in so it’s just a little crunchy on the outside. Also TV Asahi interviewed us asking us what we thought of this new treat. Not sure if I made it on the air, if you happen to see it let me know.


Greatest Japanese Package

It’s pretty easy to tell in Japan that the artwork for a candy package can be just as important as the treat. I’ve seen some cool packages as well as many that boggle the imagination. However my favourite one so far has to be the wrapper for the Morinaga bittersweet chocolate bar.

It’s not exactly what one would expect from Japanese candy but I think it’s really beautiful. I even saw a print of it for sale at a store and I was really tempted.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bottle or Can

I haven’t noticed this before in Canada, but it could be happening there too, but here in Japan I discovered this tin bottle. I realised that this bottle is half bottle and half can, and I think that’s pretty cool.

It’s got the top and general shape of a bottle.

But the bottom most certainly reminds you that it’s can with a bottle top. Maybe we should start calling these “cattles”.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Does the food ever start making sense?

I know I’ve been here for a while so thought it’d be fun to try and identify all the snacks and treats on this sign. I only managed 7. See how you can do.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not O

Today I got to try what some people call the worst tasting Japanese delicacy. It’s a fermented bean dish called Natto. It’s most commonly served with breakfast over rice.
It’s super sticky and it smells like really stinky feet. The smell is also really pungent and lingers for a long time. I was a little worried but many people have said that it smells worse than it tastes.
Those people would be very wrong. It tastes like vomit and stinky feet mixed together. I recommend anyone try it but make sure you have something to rinse out your mouth and a second plan for what ever meal you’re eating.


That’s a lot of ice cream.

I’ve complained many times about the small portions here in Japan (well maybe not on this blog but just ask Allison). However when I came across this treat, I think I might have to change my tune. I don’t know if you can say “too much” when it comes to ice cream but this treat is certainly going to try.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Modern Art

At Roppongi Hills art gallery there’s a new show with all kinds of modern art.

One of the pieces used to advertise this show is the old fashioned jug painted to look like it used to hold coca-cola. It’s kind of a neat idea but I’m not sure what my opinion is on its artistic merit.


Lucky Day!

Today was filled with such luck I can’t believe it at all. See that strange green thing on the end of a toothpick? That’s one of the treasured snacks I’ve been dying to try here in Japan for a little while now.
It’s a single grape with a light coating of white sugar. Sure to some it may not seem like that much but these little babies can go for as much as 300 Yen each (that’s about 3 American dollars). I had already searched Ginza for one of these before. Even better, I happened across an industrious sales person handing out free samples in the basement of a department store. The sample where only half of one, but I at least got to see what all the fuss was about.
As it turns out they’re not really that great at all. The grapes here are not as sweet as I’m used to in North America and the sugar only helps that out a little bit. I’d much rather just have a nice fresh bunch of grapes from home then pay the huge price here, but at least I got to try one.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eat Creative?

I saw this sign on a building here in Tokyo. I don’t know what they do but it’s a cool name for a company.


I’ll drink to Japan.

With my trip to Japan winding down I had a thought while going through a 7-11. I wonder what in Japan will I miss the most. Will it be the busy streets, convenience stores, cool food? Then I came across this…

I have been drinking so many lemon drinks on this trip that I don’t even think about it anymore. You really don’t find them around as much in Canada and the US and when you do they’re often overly sweet.
They also never come with cool toys like this one did.


Monday, August 24, 2009

What’s next meat flavoured ice cream?

There’s a new snack here in Japan and boy does it look horrible. I think the idea is supposed to make it look like you’re eating dinosaur or cave man like food.
What you get instead is what best can be described as meat chips. Like a potato chip only meat flavoured and I think even made of real meat. I sure hope this doesn’t take off.


Today the Waffle Iron was patented.

I’m not really sure who patented it, or even if it’s still patented. Actually I’m not even sure when it was patented. To be honest I really didn’t research much for this post at all. This was just one of the facts that kind of fell on my lap and I thought it would be interesting. If anybody out there has more information on the Waffle Iron feel free to leave it in the comments and enlighten us all.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Swanky Treat

I love the look of deserts here in Japan; they just take all the care in the world about how good they look. This particular treat came from a fancy restaurant and every attention to detail was met. It was a truly Japanese desert filled with fruit, jelly, beans, a chestnut, and fine vanilla ice cream. It wasn’t perfect in flavour and texture but it looked fantastic.


Wood You Please

For some reason there is nothing for me, like eating ice cream with a flat wooden paddle. Maybe childhood memories of long summer days up at my cottage.
Although I wonder if the wood flavour that comes off the spoon has any affect. I’ve realised that I’ve always had a like for the taste of wood since I always chew on pencils, Popsicle sticks and toothpicks. It now makes me wonder about maybe making some wooden flavoured snacks.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bread and Stuff

I found this place that appears to sell something called honey toast. Now I’ve tried bread with all kinds of toppings and this isn’t as strange as one might think.
Except for one thing, they appear to use the whole loaf, in one piece. I’m not sure how this would work but with the type of toppings they’re suggesting it might be pretty tasty.


Cool Window

The window at a clothing store in Harajuku has a great collection of ice cream cones. For some reason I always like windows in shops when they incorporate treats.
It’s as if they’re going out of the box, leaving the realm of clothing and using something else to give their window appeal. That or maybe I just think that since a high end trendy clothing store has candy in their window then candy must be cool and since I like candy I might be cool too. That’s just kind of sad though.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Yakitori Dessert

Most people don’t think of Yakitori as a type of food that would have a desert. After all it’s just pretty much meat and vegetable on a stick. Sometimes you make it yourself and other times it’s made by vendors. Well the other night we went out for Yakitori at a make it yourself place and we found on the menu a neat desert.
Pretty much the idea is to toast your bread on the Yakitori stove top in you table, and then you get some toppings (butter, whipped cream, and Canadian Maple Syrup) and slather it onto your toast.

It may seem simple and kind of silly to pay for but man was it yummy. It’s also a great social event. I think we may have to invest in a Yakitori stove for home.


How many?

You want to win jars of candy at small fairs all over the place? Well you my friend need an education.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ginza Hunt

Today I went to Ginza in search of what might be the ultimate in frivolous treats. Apparently some shops at some times sell individual green grapes lightly covered in sugar. They also sell for as much as two or three dollars each. I don’t know if I want to buy one but I want to see one.
The problem was finding them in the little shops all over Ginza. I did find this cool Fujiya sign.
I also found this claw game filled with treats.
I found this store window with all kinds of treats in it; I think they’re marketing ladies clothes.
I searched through dozens of stores but couldn’t find the grapes. I’ll have to keep an eye open and hopefully find them later.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I tried at least.

The other day Allison sent me on a mission. When she used to live here in Japan she had such a love for Starbucks Maple Scones. We’ve looked around for them but haven’t come across any, I decided that I would go to the same Starbucks that she originally went to when she lived here many years ago and see if they had them. The answer is no, but I figured while I was in the store I would pick up a donut.
I’m normally not a fan of Starbucks treats because more often than not they’re really dry and relatively tasteless. Well the donut I got was not exception. I just can’t get into anything they make and can’t for the life of me figure out why they can’t make a treat that’s even remotely moist.


Going Crackers

Once again working on the book about Japanese treats I’m lucky enough to get to sample a real Japanese delicacy. This here is a Sembei cracker from a famous shop in Ginza. They’re famous because each season they design a line of decorations for their crackers, then they hand paint the designs on each cracker.
I got this cool fish one to shoot for the book and now I get to eat it. These crackers can go for 3 or 4 dollars each, so it’s not something most people would invest in.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Something about Convenience in Japan

I think I’ve mentioned before the fact the Japan is totally loaded with convenience stores.

It’s not really easy to explain exactly how overpopulated Tokyo is with convenience stores but I figure I’d try. So what I did is go for a walk that lasted about two hours. This walk was both in busy and not so busy areas of the city (Roppongi to Ginza), and during this walk I counted and took pictures of every convenience store that I passed. The rule was that I had to pass the store on the same side of the street stores across the street didn’t count but I can assure you there were even more.

The grand total was 14 stores. It may not seem like much but in Toronto I think my old average would have been closer to 4 or 5, and Ottawa maybe 2.