And yes, the Johto Legendary Pokémon is included.

With its first two video games coming out in 1996, and the anime premiering the very next year, Pokémon’s continuing and consistent popularity is something that most franchises can only dream about. That said, even Pokémon has a long way to go before it gets anywhere close to the current age of its latest creative partner, Shichijo Kanshundo.

Shichijo Kanshundo is a Kyoto confectioner that was founded in the first year of Japan’s Keio era, which converts to 1865. That means that when Shichijo Kanshundo sold its first sweets, Japan was still ruled by a shogun, and that shogun wasn’t even the last one.

Over 150 years later, Shichijo Kanshundo is still in business, making wagashi (Japanese sweets) the old-fashioned way. That doesn’t mean they’re averse to trying new things too, though, which brings us to these gorgeous and adorable Pokémon namagashi sweets.

Namagashi translates directly as “raw confectioneries,” and all of these have a soft, chewy texture. Pikachu and Ho-Oh are both nerikiri, made by kneading sweet white bean jam, gyuhi (rice flour dough) and grated yam together. Pikachu’s presence is always a given in any Pokémon collaboration, but Ho-Oh is here because it’s Kyoto’s representative Pocket Monster species, by virtue of the in-game Johto region, where Ho-Oh is found, being based on Kyoto.

Also part of the namagashi set is Swinub, taking the form of a joyo manju, a grated yam dumpling with bean paste inside. Like Ho-Oh,  Swinub also hails from Johto, plus it resembles the illustrated boar shown amongst red leaves on Japan’s old-school hanafuda playing cards, making him an apt choice for this autumn namagashi-release. Finally, rounding out the set is Clefairy, who’s here as uiro, a type of sweet rice flour cake.

All of the Pokémon namagashi are handmade, using water drawn in Kyoto’s Higashiyama area.

On the other hand, if you like your snacks savory instead of sweet, Shichijo Kanshundo is also preparing some Pokémon senbei rice crackers.

These come three to a set with either a male or female Pikachu, Ho-Oh, and Ninetales.

▼ Ninetales isn’t exclusive to the Johto region, but its design is clearly inspired by the fox spirits of Shinto folklore, such as the ones represented by countless statues at Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine.

And last, there’s the Pikachu Higashi.

Higashi literally means “dry confectioneries,” and these have a crunchier texture than the namagashi seen above. They’re made with wasanbon, a fine-grain sugar that traditional Japanese sweets makers and fans swear by, with Shichijo Kanshundo sourcing it from producers on the island of Shikoku, where the best wasanbon is said to come from. They even went to the trouble of making a special wooden mold for the Pikachu higashi, so that it can be cute and classically made.

As is often the case with Japanese sweets shops with a long history, Shichijo Kanshundo’s wares are generally meant to be given as gifts or enjoyed on special occasions. The four-piece namagashi set is priced at 2,916 yen (US$19.50), the three-piece senbei set at 1,728 yen, and the Pikachu higashi box at 2,160 yen.

All of the items will be available at Shichijo Kanshundo’s main shop in Kyoto’s Shichijo Neighborhood and at their Tokyo branch inside the Kita Senju Marui department store starting November 4. The senbei and higashi will also be for sale through the Shichijo Kanshundo online shop here from October 31, but the namagashi can only be purchased in-store, and only on the days of November 4 and 28. If a trip to Kyoto or Tokyo aren’t in the cards for you then, though, don’t despair, because Shichijo Kanshundo says this is only “the first round” of its team-up with Pokémon, so there should be more to come.

Related: Shichijo Kanshundo online store, location list
Source: PR Times, Shichijo Kanshundo
Top image: Shichijo Kanshundo
Insert images: PR Times, Shichijo Kanshundo
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