Has Tokyo’s infatuation with gourmet popcorn ended? The line outside the Garrett popcorn branch in Harajuku still snakes around the corner, but other hyped popcorn outposts in the city are often empty out front.

That might be because some of these places think they can charge ¥1,300 for a bag of a truffle-accented popped kernels. Thankfully, the trend has reached the point where massive food corporations are now cashing in.

Japan Frito-Lay is leading the pack with the release of two varieties of “Styling Pop” (¥149): anchovy and garlic, and pepper and chorizo. The latter is the highlight — its slightly smoky and spicy flavor matches any of the more-expensive varieties sold in the capital’s trendy popcorn joints.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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