Village Vanguard is a Japanese shop known to be full of oddities, but they also stock some pretty awesome gifts.

These cat wagashi are the perfect mix of Japan’s traditional sweets and the country’s undying love for cute kitties. With cat day on the horizon, Village Vanguard are taking online orders for these new treats just in time.

The design doesn’t fall into the trap of looking too cutesy, but complements the wagashi by taking cues from traditional Japanese aesthetics, resulting in an attractive set of sweets to suit anyone. For Japanese tea culture disciples, they make the perfect addition to your teatime.

Houzui are described as Japanese style marshmallows. These squishy cat themed ones are flavoured with hojicha (roasted green tea) from the green tea paradise of Uji in Kyoto, making for a mellow taste. Since there's not many manufacturers of houzui left, they're quite a rare treat to find in Japan.

Another type of wagashi which has been cat-ified, monaka are mochi wafers which sandwich adzuki bean paste inside. In a colourful twist on this sweet, this set of monaka balls have various hues to denote the different types of beans hiding inside.

Another monaka sweet collection has been made with the sneaky theme of a cat thief. The charming designs were created by illustrator Yuri Sugihara in her recognisable style. The filling is the classic adzuki bean paste, and in a fun DIY aspect, the paste comes separate from the mochi wafers so you can assemble them yourself.

These distinctly Japanese gifts are the perfect souvenirs to impress friends and family back home with, the designs are charming and they make a great introduction to the deliciousness of traditional Japanese sweets!

They can be ordered on Village Vanguard's online shop:

Hoji-cha houzui

Cat monaka balls

Cat thief monaka

By - grape Japan editorial staff.