Glasses, plates, and cutlery worth taking a chance on.

Every year when the cherry blossoms bloom, people in Japan head out to their local parks for cherry blossom viewing parties. Don’t let the name fool you, though, because these aren’t stuffy affairs where you’re expected to studiously gaze at the sakura and scholarly pontificate on their aesthetic and botanic qualities.

Instead, cherry blossom viewing parties are primarily an excuse to hang out and relax with some nice scenery. If you think that makes them sound like exactly the sort of outing Rilakkuma, Japan’s adorable relaxing bear character, would enjoy, you’re right, which is why there’s now a collection of sakura-themed Rilakkuma drink and tableware.

To start with, the four dessert glasses each feature artwork of one of the franchise’s main characters: Rilakkuma himself, white-furred buddy Korilakkuma, yellow bird Kiiroitori, and the oft-overlooked Chairoikoguma. While you can use these as drinking glasses, they’re also just the right size for a Japanese sweets parfait or a serving of matcha green tea pudding.

Obviously you won’t want to eat creamy desserts with your hands, so there’s also a four-piece cutlery lineup of spoons and forks, with engravings of the characters peeking out from behind cherry blossoms at the end of their grips.

Since Japanese cuisine is all about presentation, you can never have too many small dishes for plating individual morsels, so Rilakkuma and friends also have delicate sakura petal-shaped dishes. Since a single sakura has five petals, there are five designs here, four with the characters appearing solo and a fifth with all four of them together.

As adorable as each design is, these items aren’t available for direct purchase. Instead, they’re being offered as part of merchandiser Bandai Spirits’ Ichiban Kuji system, in which you buy a ticket for 650 yen (US$5.90) and are randomly awarded a prize, with tickets available at Lawson convenience stores, official Rilakkuma shops, or branches of the Rilakkuma Sabo Japanese sweets cafe. Basically, it’s like a gachapon capsule toy machine, only without the machine.

If you win one of the glasses, cutlery pieces, or sakura petal plates, you do get to choose which design you want, and the same goes for the hand towels that are also possible prizes.

Another plus: every ticket gets you some sort of prize. So what if you don’t win a glass, spoon, fork, sakura plate, or towel? Then you win one of the four plushies shown in the photos above and below.

So while there’s no way to know ahead of time exactly what you’ll get, you can at least rest easy that you’ll be getting something cute, cool, and sakura-y.

Source, images: Press release
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[ Read in Japanese ]