We went to go see a Japanese tea ceremony!
After handing out Japanese sweets, the master prepares the tea for the guests.
Watching the fine powder turn into smooth matcha is magical. We have just the thing for those who want to make matcha but don't know how: the "Easy Matcha A Set" comes with preparation instructions in 9 different languages including English, Chinese and Spanish. If you admire tea ceremonies, owning a tea set from Japanese outdoor specialists Montbell and holding a tea party under the blue sky would be incredibly cool! For a modern twist, why not try using Japanese style cookies as your tea ceremony sweet?
Winter is the season for caramel sweets!
Takenoko No Sato - Caramel and White: Enjoy this favorite, now with white chocolate with delicious caramel flavoring!
Country Ma'am - Adult Caramel Macadamia Chocolate: Made with a rich bittersweet caramel flavor with crushed macadamias for more refined tastes. Make them even better by heating them up to melt the chocolate chips!
Unfortunately, Country Ma'am - Adult Caramel Macadamia is only available at select stores and we are currently unable to purchase them, but all other Country Ma'am are just as delicious!
Everyone loves a Kit Kat bar. Now, try out pumpkin pudding flavored Kit Kats just in time for Halloween! The smooth, sweet flavors of pumpkin pudding are perfect with the texture of Kit Kats.
The limited flavor for Pocky this autumn is "Trinity". Unlike ordinary Pocky, this Pocky's flavor has orange peel accents with a slightly bitter taste, for more refined palates.
This was our staff favorite: a "black consomme" flavor variety of potato chips. While seemingly intimidating at first, these chips are absolutely delicious and packed full of consomme flavor. We definitely recommend it as an addition to your Halloween party!
These treats are only available during this season, so get them while they last!
The aroma and flavor of Japanese tea varies greatly depending on the season and area it is cultivated in. It is a mysterious beverage that can change from bitter to sweet, depending on the temperature of water used when brewed. We had our staff at FROM JAPAN try out 4 different types of Japanese teas: "Ise tea" (Mie Prefecture), with its subtly sweet flavor, "Oku Midori" (Okinawa Prefecture) the earliest new tea harvested in the season, "Kakegawa tea" (Shizuoka Prefecture), known for its bitterness, and "Genmaicha with matcha" (Kyoto Prefecture), with the fragrant aroma of roasted rice. Even if bitter at first, some teas have a sweet aftertaste. The variation of flavor in each and every type of tea is incredible! We recommend pairing your Japanese tea with Japanese style cookies: matcha, ginger, plum, or sesame, all of these flavors go perfectly with Japanese tea.
Create beautiful sandpaintings using colored sand. In Japan, up until the Edo period it was common for street performers to use sand art in their performances to captivate audiences. Nowadays, the amount of colors and artistic value of sandpainting has increased greatly. Our staff members at FROM JAPAN tried using sand to draw pictures of Pikachu, Snoopy, Oshino Shinobu (Monogatari series), and other popular characters. First, on a specialized sandpainting sheet of paper, draw the picture of your character. Using a knife or other sharp cutting utensil, cut out the colored sections and peel them off. After peeling, drop colored sand on the glued section. The key to sand painting is to start from the rich/deep colors first. At the end, utilize light colors for the best results. Try out using and mixing various colors of your own and enjoy the art of sandpainting!
It's the second round of our bizarre snack introduction series.
This time, we've gathered a selection of snacks that we can't judge solely by the packaging!
Round 2 Lineup:
Lemon flavored soft candies with squid tempura chips inside, "Puccho Squid Tempura" made with Setouchi lemons.
Refreshing "Setouchi Lemon Potato Chips"
Shocklingly spicy, yet addictive "Boukun Habanero"
Finally, "Ippei-chan Yakisoba with chocolate sauce"
This time, the most intimidating one was "Ippei-Chan". Chocolate sauce on Yakisoba?! We couldn't even begin to imagine the flavor! The sauce consisted of specialized semi-sweet chocolate. Sprinkle on the cinnamon flakes and chocolate crunch and it's ready to eat! At first bite, the taste seemed to be regular yakisoba, but afterwards came the rush of chocolate flavor. The chocolate sauce wasn't too bad in actuality, but the cinnamon flakes were a different story... Even so, our FJ Staff gave it a final rating of "Not as bad as we imagined!".
Now it's your turn to try out this bizarre flavor! Are you brave enough?
Throughout the various areas and season of Japan, there are different snack flavors and treats that go on sale, most boasting local specialties or seasonal goods. However, there are also some bizarre snack flavors that just make you think "Why would they make such a flavor?!"
Our staff at FROM JAPAN mustered up the courage to try out some of these crazy snacks and introduce them to you.
Round 1 Lineup:
A snack of pork innards, "Tatakau Horumon"
Creamy and flavorful "Sea Urchin Cream Jagariko"
Chocolate covered grape gummies, "Kororo Chocolagrape"
Spicy Sriracha flavored "Sriracha Kaki no Tane"
And last, "Japanese Sake Kit Kats".
"Japanese Sake Kit kats" had a beautifully replicated sweet sake flavor that spreads throughout your mouth and tastebuds. Our staff absolutely loved it! Definitely give it a try!
Keep an eye out for Round 2 of our weird snack series!
Crafted with care and skill by artisans, Japanese food sample displays are wildly popular souvenirs from Japan! They began as a way to convey the image of western food to Japanese people who were not able to imagine dishes such as "omelettes" when first introduced in Japan. But nowadays, they've become a very popular way to convey the image of Japanese foods to foreign tourists in Japan. This time, we're introducing a simple food sample display creation kit. We took on the challenge of making a Matcha Parfait. Cut the red beans, heat and pour on the dazzling black syrup, topped with soft serve silicon ice cream to create a beautiful Matcha Parfait! There are all kinds of cute food samples you can make! A unique accessory that will surely be noticed!
You can create candy that looks just like actual "Sushi" using just soft candy and water for rice, tuna, egg, and salmon roe. Even the soy sauce is hand made! Recreate salmon roe droplets with a syringe. The flavor will shock you: everything is GRAPE flavored! Guaranteed to liven up your home parties, mysterious yet tasty. Enjoy creating and eating this delicious "sushi" treat.
A cheap snack for children who get hungry before dinner to eat, "Dagashi". Until around 30 years ago, shops which sold Dagashi could be found anywhere, but now they've thoroughly declined. Also popular with FJ staff, the popular treat, Umaibo, is only 10 yen per stick! Some Japanese pubs even serve Dagashi as drinking snacks. From young children to grown adults, Dagashi are loved and always popular. How about trying a stick of Umaibo?
The practice of drawing the first Kanji character or picture to greet the new year is called "Kakizome" in Japan. Usually done on January 2nd, people often write their aspirations for the new year or poetry. Black "India Ink" is used, and as it doesn't wash off anything easily at all, writing with it can be quite nervewracking! If you want to practice writing Japanese characters, we recommend this "Water Calligraphy Practice Set". Simply soak the brush included in water, and you can try out writing on the special paper with ease. If you're lost on what to write, try selecting a character from the awesome included practice manual! Our staff at FROM JAPAN recommends the characters "日本" (Japan) for practice. The characters are symmetrical and have a good balance so that they're easy to write, even for beginners. Once you start getting the hang of it, try out other characters such as "東京" (Tokyo) or "渋谷" (Shibuya)!
Depending on the way you fold these beautifully colored papers, there are endless creations that you can create from a single piece of paper with Origami, a traditional Japanese activity now enjoyed all around the world. Folded with precision and skill, origami cranes are an artform. The FJ Staff team tried their hand at making a Christmas tree, Santa, reindeer, snowman and a present box. Even while following the example step by step, it's surprisingly difficult! We had a French staff member try out origami for the first time, and it was a struggle! Perhaps the reason that Japanese people are sometimes considered "skillful", takes root in the art of origami? We recommend practicing origami using beautiful "chiyogami" paper.
If you're Japanese, you've probably done it in your youth at least once: coloring books. Enjoy coloring in the pictures with nothing but outlines drawn on! While coloring books may be considered for children, collectors of high level coloring books geared for adults to immerse themselves in have appeared. Perhaps this is an effective way to relieve stress? From anime characters to famous works of museum art, there are all kinds of coloring books in Japan. Use your favorite colors, and enjoy creating fine art with ease.
When opening the package, we can see there are 2 mysterious powders are packed inside.
Add water, mix, and watch the color change!
Flavors include peach, grape, and other fruity flavors loved by kids. However, mix 2 flavors together and it mysteriously becomes cola flavored!
Launched in 1978, "mix, make, and eat" Neru Neru products have been enjoyed by children in Japan ever since. Neru Neru Nerune is an exciting stimulating candy treat enjoyed by all Japanese people.
Looks like the real thing! An intellectual treat that you can create Takoyaki with. Open up the bag, and the take in the takoyaki sauce scent before creating. All you need is a microwave and water. Using the dough, octopus, sauce, and mayonnaise out of powder, you can create 8 mini balls of Takoyaki that look and taste just like the real thing. Watch the takoyaki take form and grow in the microwave like magic★ Takoyaki is soul food in Osaka, you can enjoy it easily there. No preservatives or synthetic food colorings are added, so children can safely enjoy this treat!
Nanoblock is an extremely small building block. The smallest part is a mere 4x4x5mm!
Each individual block so tiny, these micro-sized blocks are simply astonishing!
This time, we are introducing the Pokemon nanoblock series. Our staff took on creating Snorlax and Dragonite using nanoblocks. Although small enough to sit in the palm of our hands, it took a staggering hour and a half to complete! Immerse yourself into the world of nanoblocks, or create with friends too!
Pikachu, Charmander, Bulbasaur, Caterpie, Pokeball, Labras and other popular characters are available.