The dogs at the local Buddhist temple are making a big ruckus—their barking is echoing off the concrete building and creating a feedback loop—which means it must be nine o’clock. This random bit of trivia has nothing to do with today’s post topic but is part of the nightly reality of Kannonji-machi.
I only just remembered my promise about sending out random gifts to commenters. Well, that’s not exactly true, but I’ve only just had time to make good on the promise. Today, you get to see some of the wonderful prizes that I’m going to put into the care of the Japanese postal system later this week.
I’ll be putting together 4 or 5 packages, with a random selection from the the items in the pictures below.
Fran cookie sticks. Like Pocky, these are cookie sticks coated in sweet chocolatey goodness. Not being a chocolate eater, I’ve never tried them, but I’ve heard they’re quite good. From left to right: blueberry/white chocolate, chocolate-almond, and green tea/chocolate.
Here’s a box of fancy banana/chocolate Pocky:
I have it on good authority that these N.Y Brownie sticks are to die for. Any chocolate is too much for my taste, but I’m strange that way. And my idiosyncracies don’t stop me from gifting other people with it.
From the Department of the Odd, here’s a strange red mask with gold trim around the eyes, nose, and mouth.
The N.Y Brownie makes a second appearance, this time with assorted friends:
- Pass (wafer chocolate)
- ハチハチ (Hachihachi—it’s a sound effect) Candy, which are the Japanese version of Pop Rocks
- Non Chew “Non Chewing Soft Candy”, apple flavour
- Hello Kitty chewy candy, blueberry and strawberry flavour
- Octopi with mystery candy contents
And another assortment, starting from the top-left, and going across in approximate rows:
- Some sort of happy kids chocolate lollypops
- more Hachihachi Candy
- Gummy lips and octopus. 2 of each, viewed front and back.
- OOiT! green tea mints
- Xylitol brand gum. This one is “Eucaly Mint” flavour and is labelled “Sugarless: Extremely Competent For Healthy Teeth” in all caps.
- Some sort of masked superhero brand gum: single-serving and multi-pack size
- e-ma brand citrus mints
- Frog candies. May or may not contain actual frog. I’m betting on not.
- NO TIME chewing gum. I think it’s supposed to be a substitute for tooth brushing.
- Passionfruit KitKat
- “Mounty” and “Ball All” brand chocolate cigarettes. Yep, candy cigarettes are still legal here. And popular. See my post about cigarettes.
- Two flavours of Hello Kitty chewing gum
I found this at the Daiso—it’s a chain of 100-yen stores—near Jinnoharu Station in Kitakyushu. Not the most politically-correct choice in product names. Probably not available in Vietnam.
I love these fish crackers. They come in all sorts of seafood shapes: starfish, sea urchin, crab, squid, whale, turtle, tuna, shrimp, octopus, and more.
Here’s the seasonal variant: takoyaki (octopus ball) flavour. If you look closely you can see the little flecks of aonori (green nori seaweed) and katsuobashi (dried/smoked bonito flakes). I’ll be doing a takoyaki post at some point in the future.
Makibishi action figures. Rori, Cat, Guri, and Death. Cat is a cat. Death has bones sticking out of his head and has a three-pointed “throwing star” made of bones. I don’t know about the others.
I had to take the next ones in two images, because they come in long strips. On the left are ramen packs. Having caught on to the fact that teenagers will buy instant ramen noodles, break them up, and then eat them with the seasoning powder, the ramen manufacturers have offered something to fill this niche. Pre-flavoured, pre-broken ramen. In single-serving snack packs. From top to bottom, they’re chicken ramen, yakisoba, tempura udon, and deep-fried soba.
And to the right, are front and back views of candy “placebo” pills. I’m not sure what all of them are supposed to do, but there’s a love pill, a pill to make your breasts grow (I can’t tell if there’s a warning against men using it), various energy pills, and probably at least one that will allow a henpecked husband to win an argument with his wife.
I haven’t run my unaudited probably-not-free-from-personal-bias machine to choose the winners of the random prize draw, but entries are now closed. The winners will be selected from the past 2 months’ commenters—on the site and by email—by the end of the week. For those of you whose mailing addresses I don’t have—or am not sure about—I’ll get in touch with you via email. If I already know your address, some of you may get an unannounced package from Japan in the coming weeks.
I’ve also got some other goodies that I haven’t posted pictures of. All of them mostly harmless. Do not be afraid.