Name three famous icons from the Japanese capital that have ‘Tokyo’ in their name.

Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, and Tokyo...Banana?

You probably knew the first two, but have you heard of the last one? If you haven’t, it’s time you got acquainted with the little snack.

Contrary to the name, Tokyo Banana actually has little to do with the fruit, other than its shape and traditional filling. It is, however, Tokyo’s official souvenir sweet, and is readily available across stores throughout Tokyo and at all major international airports.
Manufactured and sold by Grapestone Co. Tokyo Banana originally went on sale in 1991, and became the first souvenir cake to feature the name of the capital in its branding. The cake is characterised by a banana-shaped sponge filled with custard cream filling, traditionally made with pureed bananas.

Since its release in 1991, the brand has unveiled a variety of flavours, textures and collaborations with other brands such as the KitKat crossover, Coffee Milk flavour Tokyo Banana Racco, and the Tokyo Banana Castella cake. Yet, it’s most recent releases are arguably the cutest – Pokemon Tokyo Banana, featuring the adorable ‘Pikachu Tokyo Banana’, which was first released in November last year and the ‘Eevee Tokyo Banana’ which made its debut in January.

The collaboration will be on sale in limited quantities from Saturday 20 February 2021 at Seven Eleven stores throughout Japan.

There are two varieties in the collection, based on the Pokemon characters Pikachu and Eevee. Each character banana comes in 6 different designs.

The Pikachu Tokyo Banana features a fluffy sponge cake imprinted with a motif of Pikachu, and filled with plenty of ‘Nana Nomi’ Banana custard cream. For those wondering what Nana Nomi is, if you play Pokemon Go, it is the Japanese name for Nanab Berries; a type of fruit that can be fed to wild pokemon to make them less ‘erratic’.

Whilst the Pikachu Tokyo Banana shares similarities in cake and filling flavour to the original Tokyo Banana, the Eevee Tokyo Banana is an all new chocolate sponge cake filled with ‘Caramel Macchiato-flavoured banana custard cream’.

The designs continue onto the back of the cakes, with Pikachu and Eevee tails imprinted into the sponge. If you are lucky, you may even come across a rare design of a female Pikachu where the tail is shaped like a heart.

Each package contains two individually packed Eevee or Pikachu designed Tokyo Bananas and will be available to purchase from Seven Eleven stores across Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa from 20th February 2021 for 270 yen a pack.
*The collection will be released in Northern Kanto, Tohoku and North Chubu regions from 27th February 2021, Central Chubu, Shikoku and Chugoku regions from 6th March 2021, and Kinki, Kyushu and Okinawa regions from 13 March 2021.

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By - Connie Sceaphierde.