As part of my partnership with ZenPop, I receive free boxes of Japanese goodies to review, providing an honest opinion on each product. ありがとう ♡
It’s time for ZenPop to make us enjoy a Kyoto Spring experience!
The sakura trees are still in bloom and the beautiful scenery calls for a wonderful trip, don’t you think? This time we are going to Kyoto or, better yet, Kyoto comes to us! Through some very unique snacks especially chosen by the ZenPop team, we are about to experience the best flavours from Kyoto and probably fall in love in the process—and when don’t we?
Here’s a spring trip to remember . . .
SAPPORO ICHIBAN TABIMEN KYOTO SEABURA SHOYU RAMEN FROM SANYO SHOKUHIN
Let’s enjoy spring in Kyoto by savouring a cup of noodles, shall we? Trust me when I say that Kyoto’s famous backfat soy sauce ramen (旅麺 京都 背脂醤油ラーメン) is definitely something to try at least once! Tasty and unique, the curly noodles and the savoury soup are a real treat, and the tender char siu and fresh green onions scattered on top are just the perfect addition to this delicious dish. Could you want more after you finish it? Possibly. What is certain is that if you end up slurping the soup, no one here will judge you!
MATCHA LATTE FROM CRAFT BOSS
Craft Boss is one of the most known beverage brands from Japan and one that you can find in almost all Japanese vending machines (jihanki, 自動販売機). If you haven’t had the chance to go to Japan (yet), then you might have seen them in manga, anime, Japanese movies, and even video games! Since I’m still waiting for the time when I can finally go to Japan—it can’t come soon enough!—and definitely get some drinks straight from a jihanki, imagine my excitement at finding a Craft Boss drink in this box! If you’re looking for something sweet to calm you down, this matcha-flavoured latte could be for you. Stress-free? Drink this!
KYOTO SHIBAZUKE FU SANSYO IRI POTATO CHIPS FROM IDEA PACKAGE
They say this is a snack like none you have tried before and that it can be addictive . . . I wonder why they say that *crunch* I’m fine *crunch* there are still chips in the package *crunch-crunch*, it’s not like I’m going to end them anyti— *slowly crunches the last one* Oh, man! Ok, one of the three best pickles in Kyoto’s wins this round, and so does the shibazuke flavour these chips are infused with. Although it’s more of a win-win, given how satisfied I feel right now!
YOKOZUNA ARARE FROM TENGU SEIKA
Rumoured to have originated from the mawashi of a powerful sumo wrestler, this legendary snack is produced near the Fushimi shrine in Kyoto and is a real treat. Made of deep-fried dough, these crispy, salty rice crackers are quite a pleasure to eat. Do I have any left? Well, define ‘any’ . . . It’s not that I don’t want to keep the good stuff but, hey, if they put great snacks under your nose—and palate—can you do without?
HONKUZU SASAMOCHI FROM WAKOU
And then comes a curious snack! Kudzu root is an herbal medicine that has many benefits, so is this snack some kind of med, you ask? No, but the kudzu retains its high quality and is turned into a sweet that also has a very soft texture. Between the Hon Kuzu Mochi and Hon Kuzu Sasa Mochi, I got the last one, which comes with a kumazasa powder you have to wrap the mochi in (as you can see from the picture above) for an even better taste. It’s definitely something different and interesting to try and prepare, and the box it comes in makes it an even fancier treat!
PICOLA SAKURA MATCHA FROM YBC
Isn’t this a lovely treat with also a very sweet name? Let’s face it, these cherry blossom-coloured roll cookies are a feast for the eyes, and they are tasty, too! Filled with matcha cream infused with a cherry blossom scent, Picola Sakura Matcha (ピコラ さくら抹茶) is the perfect snack for everyone who loves both matcha and sakura. Be prepared to stare at them for longer than you think . . .
FUNWARI MEIJIN KINAKO MOCHI FROM ECHIGO SEIKA
What can I say about this snack? It’s just pure deliciousness that melts in your mouth . . . SO good! The texture is quite unique with its softness and crunchiness, and the flavour is mild and satisfying, making it a fantastic experience. Yes, you should try it yourself because the Fluffy Master Kinako Mochi (ふんわり名人きなこ餅) will make you feel like you are in a dream!
HOMAREYAKI FROM NEGITA
Shrimp crackers, anyone? To be more precise, Traditional Shrimp Senbei wrapped in a small package with a very cute design. Come on, that little shrimp is a real cutie! Admittedly, the flavour is not my favourite for a snack, but I can’t say this is bad, in fact, I think shrimp lovers should give it a go during a break!
AZUKI CARAMEL OTSUBU FROM MORINAGA
What a sweet experience! This is certainly no ordinary caramel candy, but a richly flavoured one, made so by the bits of azuki that make this a sweet and salty candy to love. Every bite brought me to the end of this truly delicious experience and, believe me, it was painful because I so wanted it to last a long time! Still, it put a smile on my face from beginning to end, so it’s safe to say azuki works well for me. Does it work well for you, too? Only a way to find out!
YAKISOBAYASAN TAROU FROM KADOU
Have you ever eaten yakisoba? Don’t worry, there’s no wrong answer, because you’ll probably want to try this sauce-flavoured yakisoba anyway. Is it because it’s nice? Yes. Is it also because the packaging design invites you joyfully? Hey, you said that!
MARUGOTO KAJITSU FROM KASUGAI SEIKA
Kasugai Confectionery’s 4 Whole Fruit gummies are made with 100% grape, peach, muscat, and apple juice. So, if you’re not a big fan of grape candies—I would have personally preferred peach-flavoured ones—know that there are other flavours you can enjoy. Whatever you end up getting, remember that you can always have fun drawing a little picture with them. I know, I know, one shouldn’t play with food, but how could I not make a purple flower? Besides, I assure you that no food was wasted.
BEKKOU AME FROM KINSEN
Although the taste was a bit plain for me, I couldn’t help but finish the candy. Actually, I wanted to eat the second one right after finishing the first. What is the secret of these handmade Kinsen tortoiseshell candies?
KAWARA SENBEI FROM NANAO
I don’t even know if I can find the proper words to describe these Kawara-shaped crackers . . . Truly delicious? Simply amazing? Perfect in every way? Please, give me another pack because a double one is not enough? Honestly, I can still taste the rich flavour of roasted peanuts, soooo good! Kawara Senbei, you will be well remembered!
MOCHITTO KINAKO MOCHI FROM YAOKIN
Has anyone ever wanted a pair of cute mini gummy pudding-flavoured daifuku? Well, here they
were are! Two delicious bite-sized mochi I would recommend, they will make you very happy at the first bite—and go around asking for more!
FUGASHI FROM YAOKIN
Honestly, the first thing that came to mind when I tasted it was cotton candy. The difference is in the crunchy texture, but the sugary sweetness truly reminds me of it and, because of that, I couldn’t help but feel like a happy kid!
MOCHITTO KINAKO FROM YAOKIN
It was a real mission to eat this . . . Unfortunately, the texture was so glutinous that it was really difficult to get the treat out of the transparent wrapping paper (see the picture above), so I could only taste a little of the kinako flavour. It’s not bad, just really tricky. If any of you get it and have no trouble with it, let me know!
WASABI NORI TAROU FROM KADOU
If you love the taste of wasabi and soy sauce in a crunchy snack, then you’ve just found something right up your alley that will spice things up! I’m not into wasabi much, so this was my least favourite snack in the box, but don’t let this put you down because it’s just a matter of personal taste. Also, I would like to say that this has another cute packaging design and you have to love the way the snack is presented.
UMAIBO CHOCOLATE FROM YAOKIN
A combination of milk chocolate and crunchy corn puffs should already be enough to catch your attention, but what if I also told you that this is another snack that melts in your mouth? And it’s also limited edition, so you really shouldn’t miss it! I would gladly have another one myself!
SPYxFAMILY FUSEN GUMMY FROM MURUKAWA SEIKA
Now is your chance to go undercover, become a secret agent and go on a top secret mission SPYxFAMILY style! I know a dear friend who would take this opportunity without a second thought, and who am I to judge? After all, I jumped right in, too. And, what do you know, the mission I was assigned to was pretty tasty!
Ready to have a blast in Kyoto?
The Kyoto Spring snack box and other great goodies are waiting for you!