Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Bizarre

While browsing through the shops in Japan you are sure to hear fellow customers utter the following word at times: ショッキング!(Shocking!)
If you love innovation and uniqueness, Japan is the best place to be in the world for new products and selection.

This definitely holds true for candy products too. Please let me introduce you to a handful of my favorite 'Shocking' confectionery goods...

In Hokkaido, northern Japan, one of the most popular dishes for tourists is Genghis Khan (Mongolian Lamb BBQ). The lamb meat is marinated in a tangy/sweet sauce and it is served with vegetables such as onion and bean sprouts. The customer cooks their own food at their own pace while taking in the lively and busy atmosphere of the shop.

So obviously who wouldn't want to take a piece of this dining experience home with them, in their pocket? Genghis Khan Caramels are guaranteed to be a conversation piece with whoever you share them with. 18 individually wrapped 'sweet-meat' flavored caramels are in each pack. Can you get through them all? If not, you can always give them to your enemy. Buy them HERE at napaJapan.

What do people drink with Genghis Khan? These beer flavored caramels do contain 0.1% alcohol but you won't get the same type of refreshment you do with a real mug of brew. Instead your tongue will be tantalized by the fusion of sweet hops and chewy caramel. This is a definite must for any beer collector as these are sold only in one region of Japan. Are you the daring type?

Other strange caramel flavors that we carry at napajapan include Lavender, Soup Curry, and Corn. These make wonderful gift ideas for anytime of the year. Best-before dates are usually beyond 6 months too, so plenty fresh!

In Japan there are many fish flavored snack products and most have Japanese packaging the typical tourist will not recognize. Now, slap on the DORITOS name and it becomes the first snack to stand out in the local convenience store. Investigate a little further and here you find a Tuna and Mayonnaise flavored coated corn chip just brimming with fragrance and taste. I will let you do the review. I don't want to be a spoiler.

There are usually 6-10 different Doritos flavors released each year in Japan with half of them quite adventurous including Wasabi and Crab Cream! Best-before dates are about 6 months from time of production so they are fresh and ship quite well in sturdy boxes.

Do you remember Popeye Cigarettes? The name and packaging had to be changed in most countries because they apparently promoted smoking to children. Good old Japan still has their version of candy cigarettes with pictures of children puffing away. (Note to self: maybe I should list those too.)

Anyhow, Japan manufacturer's take it one step further with Kodomo no Nomimono (Kid's Drink) which actually is advertised as Kid's Beer. The neat thing about this product is that it pours like a real beer. Same color, same foamy head. Fortunately the flavor is more palatable for children. I would call it a fizzy apple and ginger ale mix taste. When Japanese families gather for special dinner occasions it is common for everyone to raise their glass and shout カンパイ(Kanpai) or as we know: Cheers! Now the children can mimic their elders right down to the beverage appearance.
napaJapan has very limited stock left of this product available HERE.

Please let me know of some bizarre products you have seen or eaten. Feel free to leave a comment. 

Expect new blogs from napaJapan every 7-10 days. You can get updates on new products from our Facebook page or by signing up to our RSS feed found on our homepage.

Happy candy hunting!


  1. Hey Jason, is the kodomo beer a new thing? I asked Yasu if he knew about it and he said he'd never heard of it.

    I LOVE the genghis khan caramels, but my inlaws hated them and so did yasu, he said they were too weird. haha :)

  2. Hi Kelly, Apparently this kodomo beer has been around for some time though I believe the name did go a bit more PC. Before it had Beer in the name.

    You are one of the few people I know who LOVE the genghis khan caramels. Maybe the only one I know ;)
    Not to say one shouldn't try them. They are definitely unique. BTW, new POCKY today! Will make sure you have them to review.