There’s so much to love about Japanese customer service. Whether you’re shopping at an expensive department store or perusing the shelves at the local supermarket, you can rest assured that everything has been thought through and tailored to meet your needs and desires.

The same attention to detail will be there for visitors to the upcoming National Treasures of Japan exhibition at the Tokyo National Art Museum in Ueno this month. Clearly aware that visitors will want to dig up a national treasure of their own after viewing the exhibition, the gift shop has some unusual souvenirs for customers to take home – including chocolate artefacts.

The exhibition, featuring 120 prized items pertaining to the theme of “prayer”, opens on 15 October and runs through to 7 December.


A lot of the items featured in the exhibition are made from clay. While the actual artefacts are stunning, replicating the hard, brown figures for a market obsessed with cute goods is not an easy task. No design challenge is too great in Japan though, which explains why the ancient figures have been born again in the form of stationery, like the little set of sticky notes below.

▼ Stick them in your favourite book and watch their ancient heads poke out, staring at you relentlessly.


▼ If you prefer to eat your artefacts, why not try the ‘clay’ biscuits on the left for 650 yen (US$6.06)?
Or perhaps one of five unique gacha toys for 300 yen each ($2.79).

▼ One of the upcoming best sellers is the excavated chocolate for 1,200 yen ($11.19). Buried under a mound of tiny chocolate balls, you can unearth a Jomon period Venus figure and then eat her up immediately!


We might just have to make our way to Ueno to check out these unique souvenirs in person. History never tasted so good!

[ Read in Japanese ]