Chances are you've heard of the Japanese stick-shaped snack Pocky, and its (usually) more salty and un-coated cousin Pretz. Made by Glico, the snacks are a ubiquitous presence domestically, in Japanese food shops outside of Japan, and, depending on what part of the world you're from, even make appearances (sometimes under the name "Mikado") in regular grocery stores and supermarkets too.

The unofficial holiday for Pocky and Pretz in Japan is the one date of the year that can be "written" by lining up the stick-shaped snacks in a row: November 11th. Already, that makes four ones.

But why settle for four when you can have five? Japan now happens to be in its first year of the Reiwa Era, which means the date can be written R1.11.11. In other words, Pocky and Pretz Day 2019 is a singularly special occasion!

Everywhere around Japan, shops that carry the snacks are celebrating with special displays and promotions.

For example, in front of the Daily Yamazaki convenience store just a few hops away from our grape Japan office, this display greeted us as we headed for work:

Photo by © grape Japan

And inside, there was another display, announcing that all Pocky and Pretz flavors were on sale, with a discount of -- you guessed it -- 11 yen.

Photo by © grape Japan

We picked up a box of Kuromitsu Kinako (Japanese molasses and sweet roasted soybean powder) Pocky, an seasonal variety you should bring home as a souvenir if you're visiting Japan this season, as well as a box of "Roast" flavor Pretz, which has the sweet aroma of freshly baked bread.

Photo by © grape Japan

On social media, illustrators, cosplayers, idols and even other corporations contributed to the singularly special Pocky and Pretz Day celebrations in their own unique ways:

Cosplayer Chamomile, who we've introduced before, posted these images on her account:

Mahiro Hayashida and Momoka Ito from idol group Fairies demonstrated the "Pocky Game" (think of the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp):

Illustrator Izumi Sai 泉彩 drew this cute illustration of Vtuber Shirakami Fubuki:

Illustrator Tota created this animation of Katsushika Hokusai and Abigail Williams from Fate/Grand Order:

Twitter user Hayato used Pocky to represent Gon from Hunter x Hunter after his hair-raising transformation:

And toy maker Takara Tomy proposed this Zoids-themed Pocky montage:

Of course, the most impressive collection of ones on a Pocky and Pretz Day was in 1999, or Heisei 11, when the date was H 11.11.11, which will happen again in 2029 (Reiwa 11). Or you could just settle for November 11th next year.

By - Ben K.