Weekly Japanese Pop Culture Thread (September 7, 2022)

Welcome to The Avocado’s weekly discussion of Japanese pop culture! I have once again been gifted a free box of Japanese treats to review! This is my second Sakuraco box, but this time there was a special theme, Tsukimi: Kyoto Moon Festival. Much like the previous shipment I received, everything arrived in a lovely box that was packed with care (15 sweet and salty snacks (and some came with 2 portions), 2 servings of tea, and a tsukimi ceramic plate). None of the treats were disturbed or broken, which is kind of incredible! My first move was to look at every item, then read through the booklet to learn about moon viewing in Japan, what each item was, and all about the region and cultural significance of each treat. This was my favorite part of the experience. Really! A few years ago I was incredibly lucky and got to visit Kyoto, and as I read through the “Prefecture Spotlight” in this booklet I kept thinking: “I wish I had known about these places when I visited!” The information in the booklet gave me a mini tour of these places, and I really enjoyed learning more about some of the local treasures in Kyoto, which of course included the snacks that came in the box. 

Feel free to ask for more details about any of the snacks!

I won’t provide a detailed review of every treat because that would take too long, but here are a few highlights:

The Satsumaimo Bread was delicious and substantial! Very fluffy and just the right amount of sweet. Enjoyed this for breakfast one morning. The bag of Soba Boro was perfect for me. I love soba (I really like buckwheat and barley flavors, I might be weird), and so these cookies were a great treat. Perfect snack that I would love to have around the house all the time. The Kinako Mochi was a totally new treat for me. What a delight! There was a really fascinating texture to these. Slightly chewy, slightly crunchy, and the super fine sugar sprinkled on the top created a kind of cooling effect (I confirmed this with my husband because I thought I was imagining it, but he noticed it too). The bag of Animal Yochi Cookies will be gone before this post goes up because they are a perfect slightly sweet treat to snack on in the evening. This means my husband will devour them. Bonus, they’re super cute! (ETA: the adorable cookies are gone)

One of the coolest things about this experience was the exclusive treats that were made for this box. In addition to the tsukimi plate (which is beautiful), there was a Houjicha Latte Pudding, Moon Viewing Gaufrette, and a bag of assorted Kyoto candy! The candy was particularly great, and when I saw there was a picked plum flavor I immediately had to try it (loved the very subtle tartness). One of the “Maker Highlights” showed how the candy was made, which was really interesting. So not only were these treats totally unique and delicious, but I also learned something. 

Senbei with cream matcha filling.

Alright, time to talk about the tea! This box came with two bags of a very nice houjicha. It paired well with the snacks, and it came with proper heating instructions (always a good thing). Two bags allowed me two “tea times” to pair with a couple of the snacks from the box. The last Sakuraco box I got was great, but I really wanted more tea, and so I was curious to see if there would be more tea this time. So, to be honest, when I saw the amount of tea in the box, I was a little disappointed. But once I read through the booklet, tasted the snacks, and experienced everything that came in this box, I was left feeling totally satisfied. There’s a lot to love about the Sakuraco box, and I’m glad I got to experience the Kyoto Moon Festival in this way!

And, as always…

What have you been watching/reading/playing/eating/listening to lately?

Happy Wednesday! 🙂