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The Colorful Snack Packages
At Mitsuwa Marketplace!

by: -RoG-

When recently going to the Little Tokyo Shopping Center here in Los Angeles, I was surprised to discover that within this mall was a grocery store. Not just any grocery store... it was Mitsuwa Marketplace - also referred to as The Largest Japanese Supermarket Store in the United States! Ok, that sounds a lot more impressive than it really was, because it's basically an average size grocery store. Still, just being in a place with so many food products that I couldn't even read the labels on was an adventure in its own right.

Sure there were many varieties of fish and tofu (wait, tofu has varieties?) to be found, but what really caught my eye were the products in the snack aisles. The packaging for many of the products was so insanely bright, colorful and chaotic that one could have an epileptic seizure just by staring at them too long. Well, in hopes of bringing you, my faithful readers your own epileptic seizures, I managed to snap some pictures of these fantastic products that were on display.

oooooooooooh pretty colors

All sorts of goodies to be found including Pocky and Black Black Gum.

Baby Star will kick your ass.
Baby Star clearly needs a cartoon of his own (if he doesn't have one already).

Yo, Pepperidge Farm! take a hint!
Can somebody tell me why Pepperidge Farm hasn't
released chocolate-filled Goldfish crackers yet?

I'm not sure, but I'm guessing kids can wear these
cookies on their fingers like rings while they eat 'em.
Fellas, remember these when you're ready to propose to that special someone.

Some things are just too scary
I fear the wrath of whatever lies inside these crazy looking wrappers.

Ever drank soda out of a condom before?
Ok, so apparently one thing they like to do in Japan is fill a bunch of
condom-like containers with soda. The blue ones were actually cream soda
but they had a wide variety of flavors. I guess you share the soda with your
lover and then you use the leftover container to get busy? Scary.

Don't ask...
It may be hard to tell from the photo, but these were some
large fruity-gummy snacks in the shape of ice cream cones.

Not just regular Pocky... GIANT POCKY!

This drink gives all Japanese infants the power of the Bionic Man.
What can I say, this lil' guy clearly has life figured out.

If only we really could cut-off the Hello Kitty bloodline forever by eating these...
Hello Kitty Babies. So you can actually eat their offspring, eh?
I had to pass because, while the idea of cutting off the Hello Kitty
bloodline forever sounds fantastic, this is clearly just a marketing ploy.

Who would win in a fight: The #1 Potato or Mr. Peanut?
He's the #1 Potato, ok?

Copyright infringement or is Disney in the foreign jellied-foods market now
If you like the idea of eating jellied Little Mermaid or Buzz Lightyear stars
in your oats, then perhaps you should pay this store a visit.

Ok, it's not Japanese, but I didn't expect to see Samus on a Jones Soda bottle.

I uh... I... there's just too much going on here.

Just put a leash on it and it can be your new pet!
Could you bring yourself to tear open a snack package that looked like that?

And finally, this was my favorite discovery of the day. Bubble Rocket!
Not only is this beverage called Bubble Rocket, but it's flavor isn't
cherry or grape or lemon or lime... it is SPACE FLAVOR!

Ok, so this one really piqued my curiosity. I just had to know what SPACE tasted like. So I broke down and bought a bottle and now it's time to try it out.

Asonde Kureyo!!

How did they discover the flavor of space!?
After mustering all of my inner-strength, I remove the cap
and take a whiff to see what "Space Flavor" smells like.
Space apparently smells like Sprite. I bet no astronaut ever told
you that now did he? That's because they're too scared to take
off their helmets in space because they couldn't breathe. Pansies...

Commencing ingestion... GO!! GO!!
In space, no one can hear you drink.

Say that's actually pretty good... er... wait, no. No it's not. Geaaaaugh!
It does remind me of Sprite at first and it's pretty decent...
but then the aftertaste hits you and it tastes like some bad
energy drink combined with Sprite and just a hint of soap.

Ah well, can't win 'em all. At least the bottle is awesome:

click for full-sized image click for full-sized image click for full-sized image
Click on any of the above pics to enlarge.

I really need to move to Japan some day. At least for a year. In the
meantime, I'll have to make a trip back to Mitsuwa Marketplace so I can
give a taste test to some more of those snacks. After all, who wouldn't
want to drink blue-colored cream soda out of a condom-shaped container?

By the way, if anybody could tell me what "Asonde Kureyo!!" and "Hajiketeinai!!" mean, I would definitely like to know. I'm sure it translates
to something like, "HA HA! STUPID AMERICAN! YOU JUST DRANK OUR CARBONATED URINE!", and that's fine with me. That's simply the risk
I take every day being the webmaster of an internet humor site.
The shit I do for you people...

Update: Reader Darryl Verret, who currently lives in Japan, just wrote in to explain that Hajiketeinai means "Won't bust open" and Asonde Kureyo means "Hang out with me!, or Play with me!" On top of that, he just sent in two photos of a can of Bubble Rocket II that he found in Japan. Yes folks, sodas can have a sequel too. Check out the the photos here and here.

Questions or Comments about this piece?
email -RoG-

If you're interested in buying any of these Japanese foods but can't make it
to Mitsuwa Marketplace, you can buy many of them online at J-List!

Be sure to check out our latest site project
which was inspired by the "rainbow" of colors
seen on the products at Mitsuwa Marketplace!

Want a look at some more food-related stuff?
Then check out my review of:

A Spicy Time in Seaport Village!

click here to go back to more shorts

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