Super Popular and Hard-To-Come-By Food
Japanese food is familiar in other countries like it has never been before. In many cities, people open up Japanese restaurants and tourists get to know more about the local Japanese food when they visit Japan. You may know sushi, ramen and tempura but you do not know all yet. There are some food even Japanese people wish to eat…which are super hard to come by.
Rainbow Ramune (Soda Flavored Candy) [Nara Prefecture]
Ramune is a carbonated soft drink originally sold in Japan and it also means a soda flavored candy. It is lighter than a typicial candy and when you put it in your mouth, it melts away softly. Ramune is a kind of typical Japanese okashi (snack and sweets) but subtle peach flavored Rainbow Ramune is called a dream ramune because it is not sold at supermarkets or convenience stores. Actually, the manufacturer sell a few wholesale to a few local shops in Nara. but it is still very hard to get. If you want to buy their ramune, the only way is to apply to them by postcard. They choose 3,500 winners twice a year in March and September. Last September, 89,605 people applied for Rainbow Ramune.
Dekitate Potato Chips [Saitama Prefecture]
Expiration date of Dekitate (meaning “fresh”) Potato Chips are only within 2 weeks. It does not last for months like other typical ones because it is not made with any food additives. The product is sent to consumers right from the factory on the day chips are fried and packed. Also, potato chips are usually fried with a circuit system but they fry potatos with a special technique, oil with a pipe that is fire inside and that make chips more gentle flavor. To buy their potato chips, register to their mailing list and they will tell you the manufacturing schedule. It takes 1 to 2 months to get the chips at the moment.
Konpeito from Ryokujuan Shimizu [Kyoto]
Konpeito is a Japanese sugar candy that are often colored but unflavored. It was originally introduced to Japan from the Portuguese traders in the early 16th century. Ryokujuan Shimizu is one and only konpeito shop in Japan. It is said it takes at least 20 years to become a professional konpeito maker. For hundreds of years it was impossible to make flavored konpeito but they managed to make ones after years of struggling and countless errors. Their Supreme Konpeito series are especially popular and you have to wait to get your favorite flavor at least for two years. They do not sell online so if you are interested, please visit their shop in Kyoto or call them.
38-2 Yoshida Izumiden-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8301
Closed: Wednesdays, the 4th Tuesday
Umeshu (Plum WIne)
Sweets from Murakami Kaishindo [Tokyo]
Murakami Kaishindo is the first Western style confectionery shop in Japan, opening since 1868. They sell sweets such as cookies, cake, jelly and also soup. The shop is located near Subway Hanzomon Station but they refuse first-time customers. To buy their sweets or food, you need to ask someone who is already a cusomer to introduce you to the shop. Then you contact the shop to register as a member and you can order sweets.
Kobe Beef Croquette Kiwami [Hyogo Prefecture]
Asahi-ya, a butcher in Takasago, Hyogo, is famous for its beef croquette called Kiwami, meaning ultimate. They do take care about every detail about making ultimate croquette. They produce organic potatoes with dung from Kobe cows. And they use the best rank of Kobe beef. Usually minced beef is used for croquette but they use dice beef which makes croquette richer flavor. They use special Kobe beef so they can make only 200 pieces a day. After seen on TV show for several times, thousands of people has ordered Kiwami and it takes at least 10 years to get it now.
Bread from Gateau d’ange [Kamakura, Kanagawa]
Mr. Taira Mizuki used to be a professional bicycle racer until he had a serious accident and had to gave up his career. After he could move his arms and legs a little, he started to bake bread as a rehabilitation. Kneading the dough was a great excersice for him. He liked to bake sweets before so he got enthusiastic about baking. Then he would give his bread and cake to his family and friends, and they all really enjoyed eating it. One day he sold his bread at a stall at an event and customers were very impressed by his story and the bread. He opened a bakery but he is not healthy yet so can bake only a few bread a day. He only accepts orders online but his bread got super popular by word of mouth. Now it takes more than 14 years to get his bread.
If you have an opportunity to taste these sweets and food, you can boast about it and your friends will be jealous of you!
Top Image: http://www.ramune.net/