'Wagashi' means Japanese traditional sweets or desserts. Flavours like matcha, adzuki beans and kinako (roasted soy bean flour) are used, giving them a distinctly Japanese taste, which is not as sweet as desserts commonly found in Europe or America. They are often eaten as an accompaniment to green tea and seen in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

But that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of modern takes on wagashi to be found in Japan. In fact, thanks to the ‘Tabemasu’ series that can be found in convenience store Lawson, you can actually find many adorable character crossovers. Previously they’ve took on Rilakkuma, One Piece characters and even the aliens from Toy Story.

For this first lineup of the new year, Sanrio's three most popular characters, as chosen by the Sanrio Character Awards 2019, have been transformed into delicious teatime treats.

The ‘Tabemasu’ wagashi are made of 'nerikiri', a type of traditional sweet which is created using a white bean paste and mochi dough. It can be easily coloured, moulded and carved into various shapes making it the perfect choice to create aesthetically pleasing confections such as these new Sanrio character inspired sweets.

Hello Kitty has made appearances before in this convenience store sweet range, but the updated 2020 version comes with a Chinese zodiac-inspired twist to commemorate the new year. The kawaii icon is made even cuter by wearing a mouse costume in reference to the year of the rat. Fittingly, the bean paste filling is cheese flavoured.

Pompompurin is another beloved character making a reappearance as convenience store wagashi. Naturally, his flavour is pudding.

For the first time ‘Tabemasu’ have made Cinnamoroll part of their sweets lineup, and it’s a pretty mellow debut with a milk flavoured filling.

The too-cute-to-eat sweets are available in Lawson stores from 21st January, and cost only 280 yen.

By - Jess.