In Japan, people love to receive souvenirs, but where we might expect to be gifted with fridge magnets and/or ornamental memoirs in the west, here there is a nationwide preference for souvenirs of food.
There are a number of reasons behind this, but perhaps the main reason is that Japan is a country that can be split into regions by food, with each area specialising in one or two particular foods. By gifting a friend or family member with a dish – be it sweet or savoury – from your travels, you’ve essentially taken them on the journey with you.

With each area comes a new food item to try, and the capital city is no exception to that rule, and is perhaps home to Japan’s most well known food souvenir – Tokyo Banana.

A banana and milk cream filled banana-shaped sponge cake, Tokyo Banana is the capital’s official souvenir sweet, and has been on sale across stores in Tokyo and at international airports since it’s launch back in 1991.
The cake’s popularity has led to a number of special varieties, including seasonal favours and collaborations with well-known mascots and characters such as the Doraemon series that was released last month.

One of the most popular collaborations of the cake has been it’s Pokemon series, which released last year, has so far seen cakes featuring Eevee and Pikachu motifs. Now the special series is adding another familiar face to its Pokemon lineup – in the form of Piplup!

If the smooth blend of Hokkaido buttermilk cream and banana custard filling in a soft sponge cake isn’t quite enough to draw you in, then perhaps the mischievously charming print of Piplup will appeal to you instead.
This third installment to the Tokyo Banana Pokemon series, features six irresistibly cute and charming patterns of Piplup – ‘Sitting Piplup’, ‘Easy Piplup’, ‘Winking Piplup’, ‘Lucky Piplup’, ‘Happy Piplup’ and ‘Bubble Piplup’.

Like all collaborative releases, this selection includes a ‘lucky’ rare design, which this time is the ‘Bubble Piplup’ motif.

Just like the cakes, the outside packaging also comes in 6 different designs inspired by Pokeballs, but what’s inside is random, so you won’t know what you’ve got until you open the wrapper!
Each package contains two individually packed Piplup designed Tokyo Bananas.

The release begins in the Kanto region from the 2nd of October, after that it will begin to appear across the nation. When it appears in your region, don’t forget to catch them all!

Piplup Tokyo Banana

Price: 291 yen (tax included)
Available from: 7-Eleven stores (released at various intervals across the nation from 2 October 2021)

By - Connie Sceaphierde.