Candy is probably one of the most creative ways to indulge your sweet tooth – there are thousands of flavours available to the candy lover, but in Japan I saw something entirely new. The Japanese have a keen eye for design in all things, including their candy. Some of the treats I saw were almost too beautiful to eat… but of course, once you get a taste it’s hard to STOP popping candy in to your mouth.
One of the most creative places I came across was a little shop called Candy Artisans (The Red Balloon).
Located in the Harajuku shopping area of Japan, this shop stood out as crowds of people gathered to watch – and sample – the artisans at work. This cute little shop is the first international location for an Austrailian-based company. It boasts an artisanal approach to making candy, with all of the recipes designed using a variety of natural and artificial flavours.
The candy begins as a hot, large tube and as it cools it is rolled out in to a candy cane sized diameter and cut in to small delicious pieces. Neat, right? But look CLOSER…
Each candy actually contains a hidden image or message, intricately laid out in the tiny hardened sugar pieces… These samples completely delighted me when I finally took a closer look. The shop also has a kaleidescope station set up to let you view the miniature candy art in all its glory.
This technique ensures that the design comes out clear and is not warped in the rolling process.
The shop specializes in these miniature candy designs (they remind me of Fimo beads!) and they taste really awesome to boot. Here’s some more designs from the “I Love Candy” theme pack.
I also found some sweet and strange candy at the Meiji Shrine, located in a giant forest just outside Harajuku Station. The bubble chains pictured in this post were the prettiest candy, but a close second was these cherry blossoms.
Pictured below, the little Sakura candies (which I’m calling them although I’m not sure what the packaging says, anyone?) tasted like rock candy, the kind you get at the R.O.M. …and as you can see, I really liked them. So much that I almost ate them all before snapping a picture!!
Despite all of these sweet recollections of Japan, I did also come across some truly weird and sometimes just plain shocking food during my trip to the Tokyo area. My final post in the series will look at my favorite WILD moments from my Japanese food adventure!
About the Author: Corina is a writer, photographer and food-venturer for FoodSpun.com. She lives in Toronto and regularly travels, exploring the world of food and flavours. She also works with Orderit.ca, the delivery partner of FoodSpun, to bring fans of great food together with fresh local restaurant delivery. Watch for more from Corina and connect with her on Twitter @corecorina.