Monthly Archives: May 2014

Kit Kats – Raspberry Flavor (Part 1 of 5)

Today we begin a new five part series of unique snacks. Instead of chips, this time we will focus on Kit Kats. As we have posted several times, Kit Kats are a huge phenomenon in Japan. Introducing new flavors seasonally and carefully controlling the exclusivity of regional flavors has proven greatly successful.

In just the last couple weeks, our regular visits to convenience stores resulted in the acquisition of five unique varieties that were at least new to us.

Today’s offering is raspberry flavor. Subtle it is not. These Kit Kats scream RASPBERRY and in a good way. The flavoring goes quite well with the imbedded cookie and the taste lingers nicely, long after the treat is gone.

20140518-205415-75255095.jpg

This one we’d buy again…that is, if we ever see it again.

Gatorade in Japan

As you know, it is very complicated and hard to get US products to/in Japan. Gatorade is one of those products that, up until recently, I had never seen any sign of (other than the US compound or military families whom have access to the US base). But while climbing up the many steps of the Nori Shrine, one of the vending machines had Gatorade Run. The flavor was spot-on compared to the American Gatorade. But this appearance wasn’t the last; there was some in one of the vending machines near school (although not on campus); there was even some on the street somewhere but I can’t remember. It just seemed cool to me how US products, if they’re popular enough, will show up in Japan with a Japanese label and everything.

image

Azaleas in bloom

One of the consolation prizes that comes when the cherry blossoms leave, is that azaleas will follow in their place.

image

Well, the azalea season has peaked and the city is covered with these lovely flowers. Those pictured just happen to belong to the Emperor, located around the Imperial Palace Gardens.

Spring Ice Cream

At Family Mart, there was a White Peach ice cream cone. The pink triangular shaped parts are almost like peach flavored ice while the lighter part is peach ice cream. I very much liked this new found ice cream treat. I have no idea how long it will stay available for purchase, but I hope it stays for a while longer. The peach flavors weren’t harsh, the flavor was quite sweet. If you aren’t a fan of very sweet dessert, then I wouldn’t recommend this for you.

image

A Kit Kat Boutique! In Tokyo!

Ever since we discovered that Kit Kats are a “thing,” we have kept an eye out for those special red boxes. Yes, it is a borderline obsession.

A few weeks ago, we heard about a new outlet that opened up earlier this year in Ikebukuro (in the northwest corner of Tokyo), on the “food floor” of the Seibu Department Store. Of course, we embarked on the quest to find it. And, of course, we did.

image

There were three flavors offered when we visited: Sakura Green Tea, Cream Cheese, and Chile (from the Nagano prefecture). Unfortunately, the special “bitter dark” chocolate flavor, sold exclusively at this location, was sold out for the day.

Inside the Garden

Part of Tokyo’s charm is that around every turn, in every alley and corner there is something surprising, something to be appreciated. This is true of the city, including the gardens.

This is one of the ponds in the heart of the Institue of Nature Study.

innergarden

In Minato-ku, Tokyo, about three train stops from our home station, in the middle of the city, is a very quiet branch of the National Science Museum, the Institute of Nature Study. This 200,000 square meter garden features forest, marsh and ponds which have been well conserved for many years and represents the pre-Edo habitat of Tokyo. Or, what things looked like 500-600 years ago. During the Edo period, one of the lords lived on this land, and during the Meiji period, gunpowder was warehoused here for the army and navy. Around 1917, the land became an Imperial estate and has been maintained as a natural environment ever since.

This is one of the paths leading into the central area of the garden.

Institute of Nature Study