Shichijo Kanshundo is well regarded for its time-honored tradition of crafting exquisite wagashi (Japanese sweets). Despite its rich heritage, Shichijo Kanshundo also embraces innovation, evident in its latest creation – a collaboration with Pokemon!
Namagashi, meaning “raw confectioneries,” are distinguished by their soft, chewy texture. Shichijo Kanshundo’s Pokémon-themed namagashi includes Pikachu and Ho-Oh, both of which are made using nerikiri, a delightful blend of sweet white bean jam, gyuhi (rice flour dough), and grated yam. While Pikachu is a constant presence in Pokémon collaborations, Ho-Oh joins the party as Kyoto’s representative Pocket Monster due to the in-game Johto region, inspired by Kyoto.
Adding to the ensemble is Swinub, fashioned as a joyo manju, a grated yam dumpling with bean paste. Swinub also originates from Johto and is inspired by the boar depicted on Japan’s traditional hanafuda playing cards, making it a fitting choice for an autumn-themed namagashi. Completing the set is Clefairy, personified as uiro, a type of sweet rice flour cake. These delightful Pokémon namagashi are meticulously handcrafted, using water drawn from Kyoto’s picturesque Higashiyama area.
If your palate leans toward savory delights, Shichijo Kanshundo has something special for you too – Pokémon senbei rice crackers. These sets feature male or female Pikachu, Ho-Oh, and Ninetales. Although Ninetales doesn’t belong exclusively to the Johto region, its design draws inspiration from Shinto folklore, evident in the numerous fox spirit statues at Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine.
For those who appreciate a crunchier texture, there’s the Pikachu Higashi. Higashi, which means “dry confectioneries,” offers a delightful contrast to the soft namagashi. These sweets are crafted using wasanbon, a fine-grain sugar highly esteemed in traditional Japanese sweet-making. Shichijo Kanshundo procures this sugar from Shikoku, a region renowned for its superior wasanbon. A specially crafted wooden mold ensures that the Pikachu higashi maintains its adorable and classic appearance.
Starting from November 4, all of these delightful treats will be available at Shichijo Kanshundo’s main store in Kyoto’s Shichijo Neighborhood and at their Tokyo branch inside the Kita Senju Marui department store. The senbei and higashi will also be available for purchase through the Shichijo Kanshundo online shop starting October 31. However, the namagashi can only be obtained in-store on November 4 and 28. But don’t fret if you can’t make it to Kyoto or Tokyo, as Shichijo Kanshundo promises that this is just the “first round” of their collaboration with Pokémon, hinting at more delightful creations to come.