Popular Japanese snack Tokyo Banana was set to venture into unchartered territory by opening shop in Osaka, but unfortunately, it was not to be.

Many of our readers may be familiar with Tokyo Banana, a staple souvenir for people visiting Tokyo. The well-loved iconic snack has been around for almost 30 years, which we guess isn’t too surprising, since it’s pretty difficult to go wrong with a soft sponge cake filled with banana custard cream, right? Not to mention that they keep tempting us periodically with different flavors and eye-catching designs.

▼ After nearly three decades on the market, Tokyo Banana has practically become a symbol of Tokyo.

▼ And with that banana custard cream filling, the cakes look awfully attractive to both visitors and residents of Tokyo alike.

It so happens that up to now, Tokyo Banana has been sold in-store only in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area, which is part of the reason why it has become such a well-known Tokyo souvenir. However, with travel practically non-existent amidst the Coronavirus outbreak and very few people buying souvenirs as a result, the makers of Tokyo Banana had recently announced plans to open shop outside the Tokyo area for the first time ever at the Hankyu Umeda Department Store in Osaka, albeit for a limited period.

Unfortunately, those plans proved to be short-lived, as the sales event in Osaka has now been cancelled after a state of emergency was declared Tuesday evening in seven prefectures including Osaka and Tokyo. While the cancellation is understandable with many department stores in Osaka and Tokyo currently closed or operating only partially in response to the declaration of emergency, it’s a pity that folks around Osaka have lost this rare chance to purchase the cakes.

▼ Initially, they had posted a promotional illustration depicting the Tokyo Banana cake heading off to Osaka, which sadly didn’t happen.

Meanwhile, the folks at Tokyo Banana have suggested some fun ways to enjoy the snack while staying at home, and they definitely look like ideas we might want to try!

For example, how about a frozen Tokyo Banana on a stick? Social media users have already mentioned how good the cakes are frozen, and it’s super easy to make too. All you have to do is freeze the cake in its individual wrapper for one to two hours, and the banana custard cream inside changes into a consistency like ice cream. Yum!

Or if you want something a little more substantial, you can grill the cakes french toast-style.  They’ve even shared a recipe here (in Japanese) that involves soaking the cakes in milk and then grilling them with butter in a frying pan (hint: If you can’t be bothered to bring out your frying pan, you can also cook the milk-soaked cakes in a toaster oven for similar results).

▼ The lightly toasted Tokyo Banana cakes look absolutely divine.

▼ Add some fruits and you have a beautiful dessert plate!

While we won’t be seeing any Tokyo Banana cakes in Osaka for the time being, we look forward to seeing more tasty-looking variations of the treat once the COVID-19 outbreak is over and we’re able to return to traveling and buying souvenirs, hopefully sometime soon. Until then, stay safe everyone!

Source: PR Times (1), (2), Golden News 
Top image: PR TImes
Insert images: PR Times
Related: Hankyu Umeda Department Store website 
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