Mr. Sato finds a whole new way to play with his food.

Our ace reporter Mr. Sato has a big appetite and a big love of sweets, so hearing that he recently bought mountains of chocolate might not be such a shock. In a twist, though, this time he’s actually not gorging himself on gigantic desserts, but instead treating himself to some exquisitely beautiful confectionaries with alpine aesthetics.

Shorakuen is a new chocolatier that’s getting ready to open its first permanent branch in Tokyo’s Yoyogiuehara neighborhood. That’s not happening until late November, though, so for the time being they’ve got a pop-up store in the Isetan department store branch in the Shinjuku district, which is just a short walk from SoraNews24 headquarters. So Mr. Sato took a stroll over and came back with two boxes from their Yamagashi, or “Mountain Candy,” line.

These aren’t just random, abstract mountain-like shapes, either. Each of the five Yamagashi are modeled after an actual mountain in Japan, and has a corresponding season too.

▼ From left to right: Hokkaido’s Mt. Rishiri (Winter), Kagoshima’s Mt. Ontake Sakurajima (Summer), Oita’s Mt. Yufu (Autumn), Shizuoka’s Mt. Omuro (late spring), and Mt. Nishiyama (Summer) on Hachijojima, technically part of Tokyo but an island far to the south of the capital.

Each mountain also has its own special flavor.
● Rishiri: Rum raisin
● Ontake Sakurajima: Passionfruit
● Yufu: Black tea
● Omuro: Matcha green tea and sakura cherry blossom
● Nishiyama: Lemon

In addition to the 2,800-yen (US$20) five-pack, Mr. Sato also picked up a large-size Mt. Rishiri, for 2,300 yen, which comes with a lovely diorama-style backdrop.

▼ Real Mt. Rishiri

▼ Chocolate Mt. Rishiri

Inside the chocolate Mt. Rishiri is a rum raisin ganache seasoned with sea salt from the Sea of Okhotsk, plus cocoa and sweet red bean brownie cake. Near the peak is some candied chestnut, and there’s even a bit of kombu (kelp) powder, sourced from the waters around the actual Mt. Rishiri, mixed in for added complexity. The combined effect, Mr. Sato says, is quite delicious.

The attention to visual detail really is remarkable, even by Japanese premium-dessert standards, and as Mr. Sato snapped photos he remembered that the recent iOS16 update supposedly added some impressive photo editing features that make it easy to trim a subject out of a photograph and add it to another image.

So he decided to do just that.

The Yamagashi’s level of realism actually allowed him to add yet another twist to his trick photography.

Since it looks just like a real mountain, with the proper sizing and positioning Mr. Sato could make himself look like a giant.

If you’re interested in eating these chocolate mountains and/or using them as photo shoot props, Shorakuen’s pop-up store at the Shinjuku Isetan will be in operation until November 1.

Related: Shorakuen, Isetan Shinjuku
Mt. Rishiri photo: Wikipedia/ContributorQ
All other photos ©SoraNews24
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