(Updated on 3/29 with expected time of new era name announcement)

Right now in Japan, there are hundreds of companies busily preparing commemorative goods to be released as soon as the name of the new era is announced on April 1st. You can expect to see all manner of foods and goods printed with the name of the new era to celebrate a new beginning and the ascension of the current crown prince to the throne one month later on May 1st. While the number of names likely to be chosen are relatively limited, the possibilities are nevertheless numerous enough to thwart most manufacturers from making finished products in advance. For that reason, almost all companies will be lining up like track and field athletes, ready to dash as soon as the name is announced by the chief cabinet secretary on April 1st.

In the field of candy, it looks like we may have a winner already. The Japanese branch of candy maker Papabubble, a company with origins in Barcelona, has announced it will attempt to become the fastest company in Japan to offer commemorative candy printed with the name of the new era, promising to sell it in two of their Tokyo stores about 90 minutes after the announcement is made.

Plan of Action: 90 Minutes From Announcement To Sale

  • As soon as the era's name is announced, they will hold an emergency management meeting and decide on the design and price of the candy in three minutes flat.
  • In the open kitchen of their Daimaru Department store and their Aoyama store in Tokyo, they will make the candy in public view and complete it within 90 minutes.
  • As soon as the candy is done, they will mix it in assortment bags with candies featuring other patterns, package them and immediately begin selling them in limited quantities at those stores.
  • At the same time, they will send the packaged assortment bags to other stores in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sendai, Chiba and Kyoto by express courier. By April 5th, all of their direct sales locations will sell the commemorative new era candy.

Be the first to "taste the new era"

The Japanese government has revealed that the era name is expected to be announced around 11:30 AM (JST), so if you're aiming to be one of the first to "taste the new era," you may want to keep your eye on the news from about late morning and head to one of the two Tokyo stores when the big announcement is made. You'll have 90 minutes, which should give you plenty of time.

Daimaru Department Store

  • Address (JP): 東京都千代田区丸の内1-9-1 大丸東京地下1階
  • Address (EN): B1, Daimaru Department Store, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Aoyama Store

  • Address (JP): 東京都渋谷区神宮前5-50-6
  • Address (EN): 5-50-6 Jingumae Shibuya-ku Tokyo

The candies will be sold in 40 gram (1.41 ounce) bags. The price is set at 700 JPY (tax included), although this may vary is the name of the era includes complex kanji.

By - Ben K.