Monday, November 18, 2013

The Weird and Wonderful World of Mitsukoshi Candies

For today's Sweet Treat Monday, I have a...special...treat for you.  After some badgering, I persuaded my brother Athos, a high school senior, who has extensive knowledge of the many strange and wonderful candies at Mitsukoshi in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, to write a post about them for you all.  He is actually very funny (if also very wacky), and he has a blog all about dinosaurs that will make you laugh out loud and learn a few things about dinosaurs.  Without further adieu, here's Athos:

Greetings comrades!  This is Athos, and today I'm going to write a post about the weird and wonderful food stuffs of the Japan pavilion at Epcot's Mitsukoshi store.

An interesting thing about the Mitsukoshi store; it's actually a huge department store chain in Japan. Just found that out. 23 seconds ago. When I was looking up how to spell Mitsukoshi. Anyway on with the show.

Mitsukoshi is divided into two sections. There's the part that sells Sonic the Hedgehog related merchandise and then there's the part that doesn't sell Sonic the Hedgehog related merchandise. This part will be the focus of this post, as it also sells all the food.

This section of the store sells many of the more savory or chip-like products. Some highlights in this picture would be the Ramune sodas you can see in the foreground on the left. These sadistic bottles of relatively mediocre carbonated beverage each are capped by not a normal cap, but a small glass marble. To open the bottle and drink the soda one must use the provided plunger to push down the marble, however this also traps the marble in a small compartment of glass and makes it impossible to remove. Now I don't know about you, but I love shiny things. So when I found the marble was impossible to remove, I was pretty annoyed. Why don't you just remove the cap originally holding the marble and now sealing it inside do you ask? Because it's superglued on. And not just normal superglue where you can wear it off by twisting it enough, no. This is demonglue. Nothing can remove demonglue. If you really want the marble, you should probably just smash the bottle. But glass is dangerous. Does not condone.

(Aside from Emma: there are lots of videos on youtube of people trying many and various methods to get the marble out without breaking the bottle.  Apparently it can be done, but it seems to involve knives, hammers, and fire.)

It also comes in many flavors, my favorite of which is strawberry, but no one really buys it for the pop, they buy it for the marble. The evil, evil marble. Ahem. Also in the previous picture are several boxes of Pocky sticks, you can see them as the red boxes on the back wall, one unit from the far left shelf. These cracker type things are dipped in chocolate, and are delicious, but are unfortunately rather unsubstantial. For the full experience, I like to take 8 and stick them all in my mouth at once. 

Also in the picture is the infamous "BIG POPCORN." I (being a popcorn connoisseur) was instantly seduced by the name of the product, and upon tasting it was disappointed to realize that it didn't taste like popcorn. Nor did it really look like popcorn. Honestly they looked like larger versions of those Corn Nut things. In fact they tasted like them too. False advertising. Also among these shelves are such things as weird crackers that looks like pork-rinds but would  probably more aptly be called shrimp-rinds, thin wafers made of salt and water, and strange squishy pink things that may or may not be pastries.

This is an enormous roll thingy. It costs $8 and has a picture of an egg on the front. I'm honestly not sure what it tastes like, since I chickened out at the last minute. But it probably it tastes like eggs.

And now we've reached the gummy carts in the middle of the store. These carts are filled with various fruit snacks. Some of them are completely unidentifiable due to their labels being in Japanese, but that just adds to the excitement. A few years back I bought a packet of them with a waterfall in the background. I still have no idea what flavor it was. It tasted a little bitter. I noticed the expiration date on that one wasn't until 2020 so I decided to keep it in my marching band hat. Oh golly I'm cool. It's been in there for 3 years.

These are more of those fun hanging gummies. You see the one on the side of the cart closest to us? The far left? With the number 100? Yeah you see it. That one is one of my favorites. Especially the one with the orange on it. Unlike American orange candy which all seems to taste like orange flavoring, a strange perversion of pure orange, this candy tastes like an actual orange. All of the candy of that (presumably?) brand are also covered in a strange transparent almost sandy kind of dust. It adds and interesting texture when you're eating it. Also in this picture are those smaller packets two to the right of the 100s. These also taste like the fruit advertised, but are not gummies. Rather they are small compacted circles of white powder. They dissolve remarkably quickly in your mouth. The flavor can be kind of strong sometimes, but they're still good. Still good.

From Emma: Awwwwww, Athos, did you just reference Lilo and Stitch???

This picture has all the chocolate. The most interesting thing here would be that dark box that kind of looks like it says "bbLiZb." It's filled with drops of a chocolatey cake thing with a dark chocolate center dipped in chocolate. I haven't had them for a while, but I seem to remember them as being pretty good. The chocolate bars are okay as well. They taste like chocolate.

The Hi-Chews are some of my favorite candies in the store. They're like starburst, but Japanese. Speaking of starburst do any of you know what flavor the pink ones are? They taste like pink. If that was a flavor. Which it is not, it is a color. Anyway the Hi-Chews are delicious, they have a different texture from starburst and each one of the small rectangular prisms comes wrapped in wax paper. There's about 12 in each of those little bars. One which I think is especially delicious would be the peach. At least I think it's peach, I don't really know. They taste good though.

This is another interesting gummy. It all came as one package, but each separate part tasted different. The middle vine tasted like lime, and each of the bunches of grapes had a different flavor. It also was very sticky, more so than normal gummies. It had a high viscosity I suppose you could say. Like magma, but less hot.

One of the most disappointing things I've ever bought from Mitsukoshi would be Choco Flakes. For once it seemed I had found something I could identify, something that would taste as I expected it would. I was wrong. Choco Flakes tasted nothing like chocolate. They also weren't really in Flake form either. They had melted and all stuck together in one giant ball. The flavor was a bit like yogurt. Certainly nothing like chocolate. I'm still bitter about it, and the Choco Flakes are still in the pantry. Where they've been sitting. For a year now. I'm keeping them there.  Eternal food punishment.


Anyway that's all. Thanks for reading the random things I had to say about Mitsukoshi candy. And remember, life is like a random candy bar from Mitsukoshi: you don't know what flavor it will be until you bite in, but it's probably shrimp.



  1. I loved hearing from Athos! Most excellent guest post.

  2. Great post! A lot of the snacks in Mitsukoshi are available in stores in NYC's Chinatown for much less than what they're sold for there, of course. If Emma ever makes a trip to the city again and you were looking for something in particular, you can always find a few things there if Disney is not in the plans for a while!

    For a while, my church friends were obsessed with the drink with the marble in it. I never got it because I'm not into trying new drinks (I like water and tea!). To this day, it still fascinates me though! It's amazing how the novelty of the marble in the glass can make so much money for the company!

    Hi-Chews are AWESOME!

    Write more posts in the future!