These traditional sweets with a modern twist are essential for your next tea party!

159 years is a long time for a sweets maker to be in business, but Shichijo Kanshudo, a Japanese-style sweets maker founded in 1865, the first year of the Keio era, has the experience and the reputation that comes with such a long history. And now that they’ve teamed up with Pokémon, they might be getting the popularity to match it.

The first round of Pokémon Shichijo Kanshudo sweets, released in the fall last year, included so many adorable, whimsical Pokémon-inspired designs that we couldn’t wait to try them. And now that they’re coming out with a new collection in February, it’s definitely on our list to try, too.

This round of Pokémon sweets are “kyo-gashi”, meaning they’re traditional Kyoto-style sweets, which are often used in tea ceremonies. Kyo-gashi sweets reflect not only the changing of the seasons but also the popular culture of the time, including popular waka poetry and paintings. There’s no piece of Japanese popular culture that isn’t more prominent than Pokémon, so it’s the perfect choice for a kyo-gashi tie-in. It’s also the perfect medium for making kyo-gashi accessible to people of all ages all over the world.

To celebrate the season, these Pokémon kyo-gashi are winter-themed in design, and this time there are two kinds. The first is fuyaki, a type of flour-based cracker lightly toasted and basted with miso and sugar. They come in a set of three for 1,728 yen (US$11.67)–one with Pikachu (either male or female), one with Decidueye, and one with Sprigatito–and each one either has a wintery background or is doing wintery activities. The pictures are painted by hand by expert craftsmen, so each one is unique!

The other sweets are hoshigashi, which is the general term for dry sweets–that is, those that lack moisture. These particular ones are made with non-sticky rice flour and a fine-grained sugar from Shikoku called wasanbon, and molded into shape by a wooden mold. In this case, they’re shaped to look like adorable Pikachus using wood molds hand-crafted by artisans. They come in a multipack, along with other Pokémon-related shapes like Pokéballs, for 2,160 yen.

There’s one other subset of these Pokémon sweets that are sold by lottery only; they’re jo-namagashii, luxury soft, chewy sweets often representative of the seasons, in a set of four with Alolan Vulpix, Glalie, Darumaka, and, of course, Pikachu designs. The lottery application closes at 11:59 p.m. (JST) on January 19, so as of this writing, there are only 12 hours left to apply.

Other than the application-only jo-namagashi, this round of Pokémon sweets is even more accessible than the last one; online preorders for some of the items start on January 22, and more shops than before will be selling them. What’s more, there are plans to make Pokémon kyo-gashi to represent every season. They haven’t announced what that entails yet, but it’s something else to look forward to.

In any case, the “Winter”-style Pokémon fuyaki and hoshigashi will be available for sale at three Kyoto Shichijo Kanshudo shops and one Tokyo shop in Kitasenju Marui starting on February 3, but beware; since they’re very delicate sweets, they’re only available at each retailer in limited quantities. If you love Pokémon and are trying to sample more Japanese sweets–maybe with some delicious green tea?–then definitely try to see if you can find them!

Source, images: PR Times
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