Saturday, March 8, 2014

I Try Puccho Yuzu Kumamon Candy Chews and Japanese Character Mascots

I'm already kind of fond of UHA Puccho yogurt candy chews (Puccho gumi).  Been buying and eating this candy for years and it was a pleasant surprise to find these special promotional Kumamon Bear packages in a yuzu flavour.  I like the ramune flavour (kind of lemon-like but sweeter) too and the chews come in many different fruit flavours.  Best of all, inside this candy are more chewy jelly bubbles for some extra texture and it is really nice candy.  So what did this candy taste like?  It was like grapefruit / lemon and was a refreshing change of pace for a sweets fix.

Kumanon yuzu chews on the right.  I also bought some sour ramune candy balls by UHA and they were tasty too!

Yuzu is a Japanese citrus that is native to East Asia that is a hybrid of sour mandarin and ichang papeda.  It is resembles a small yellow grapefruit / funny looking lemon, but can grow quite large.  The flavour is bitter, kind of like grapefruit, but with a hint of orange.  It is also an ingredient finding more and more use in western kitchens.  A unique sweet version of this fruit was native to Japan and was endangered at one point.  This variety is now being cultivated in southern Kyushu and other locations.

Kumamon Yuzu Puccho Chews

The packages of yuzu chews came with bonus this time as a little cellphone charm of the Kumamon Bear from Kumamoto Prefecture was included.  The charms are sealed in a box so it is a random draw for which one you get, but I ended up with two pretty good ones.

The Kumamon Bear is a pretty popular mascot character created in 2010 by the province to promote the area after the Kyushu Shinkansen (bullet train) line was opened.  The area has several national parks and Kumanon has appeared as a stuffy, souvenirs, toys, etc.  Japan has many popular mascot characters as it is the land of kawaii (cute), and one of these days I'll post more about them, but for now, here are some links.  I also really like the little chick mascot used for Nissin Chicken Ramen.


  1. Hello. Couldn't find another way to contact you. I'm going japan next weekend. Just a day in Tokyo. I'm looking to buy some art books. Any recommendation of places to get me? I'll be staying in ueno. Planning to visit akihabara

    1. This place is as good as any. If you are looking for art books, you might try to find used ones at Mandarake - locations in Shibuya, Nakano Broadway, Akihabara.

      For new, I would try Kotobikuya Books in Akihabara, the book floors at Gamers and Animate! If there is a book you are looking for that is hard to find,, but customs people tend to open things up sometimes. Also, if one store doesn't have it, try another one. The Animate in Ikebukuro is actually the flagship store. Believe it or not, the Yodobashi Camera in Akiba also has a book / magazine section in it. I have a map to Akihabara here. I'm not an uber-expert, but I'll try to help if you have any questions.

      K-Books is here.