Godzilla, Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty have become the latest characters to take shape as traditional souvenir confectioneries in Tokyo.
To catch the eye of capricious tourists, more and more candy makers in Tokyo are now making sweets that resemble popular movie and animation characters.
In July, some Godzilla-shaped sweets hit the shelves in souvenir shops at JR Tokyo Station. “Expecting the movie to be a hit, we prepared to produce and sell (the new products). Sales have been very good,” said Yasuaki Niimi, president of confectioner Pierota in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward and a Godzilla enthusiast since he was a child. His company’s latest product is a Godzilla-shaped “ningyo-yaki.”
Ningyo-yaki is a brown sponge cake with sweet bean jam in it, a traditional souvenir for visitors to the capital. The shapes of the sweets, however, may no longer be so traditional.
Now many families stand in long lines to buy ningyo-yaki in the shape of Mickey Mouse in JR Tokyo Station. Azusa, a confectioner based in Tokyo’s Taito Ward, produces ningyo-yaki in the form of Hello Kitty, a popular character used in products aimed at children and young people.
The new product has proved extremely popular and sells roughly 10 times faster than other souvenirs, said Nobuyuki Yashiro, a sales department chief at the confectioner. “If you bring the same souvenirs to your hometown every year, (the families there) will get tired of them. We hope the Hello Kitty ningyo-yaki will become a new standard souvenir from Tokyo,” he said.
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