If you’ve seen a frog popping around your social media then you are no stranger to the latest trending mobile game, Tabi Kaeru (Travel Frog)! For the uninitiated, the game is simple: prep the frog for the trips, including things like food, talisman and travel gears, and in return, he will bring you souvenirs and postcards. Fret not, if you’re wondering what exactly the souvenirs are or where to get them, for we got all the information you need in this article.
Credit: News China
Nanbu Senbei (Tohoku Region)
Credit: Sugoi Japan
Kiritanpo (Tohoku Region)
Kiritanpo, a speciality of Akita is made from cooked rice that is kneaded and then toasted on a skewer. Despite its plain appearance, it is well loved by many. There are many ways to enjoy the kiritanpo, such as eating it by itself or making it into a savoury-sweet snack by slathering sweet miso on it. Alternatively, the kiritanpo can be added into the hotpot along with burdock, maitake mushroom and chicken to make a soulful meal.
Credit: Japan Info
Try out the kiritanpo nabe at Akita Marutonisuisan Kiritanpoya.
2 Chome-7-6 Nakadori, Akita, Akita Prefecture 010-0001, Japan
Gohei Mochi (Chubu Region)
The Kiso Valley and Ina areas of southern Nagano share a tradition with its neighbouring Aichi and Gifu prefectures for making the delicious gohei mochi. Rather than using a variety of rice used specifically for making mochi, the gohei mochi only uses white rice. It is pounded into a sticky cake, stuck on a skewer, slathered with sweet sauce and grilled over a flame. For the uninitiated, the gohei mochi can come in many shapes and flavours depending on the region.
Credit: Japan Info
Taste the Gohei Mochi at Furuya Sangyo stores.
Uirou (Chubu Region)
Trust us when we say it is impossible to ignore the omnipresence of the colourful uirou while strolling along the streets of the Nagoya city (Aichi prefecture). If you are a fan of nian gao (sweet sticky cake), then you will definitely enjoy the uirou. The classic flavours of this delight are brown sugar (brown), Sakura (pink), green (matcha), dark brown (strained bean paste). With its chewy texture and interesting flavours, it's really difficult to resist the second piece.
Get your Uirou from the Aoyagi Uirou stores.
Yaki Manju (Kanto Region)
The manju is literally the doppelganger of the Chinese mantou. However, the Japanese (especially those in Gunma) decided to enjoy the carbohydrates in a different manner. In Gunma, the plain steamed manjus are roasted over the flame and brushed with a generous layer of layer of savoury-sweet miso sauce to make yaki manju.
Try the Yaki Manju at Jōshū Chūji Chaya.
657 Kamihasucho, Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture 372-0851, Japan
Goshiki Mame (Kinki Region)
This colourful snack is well-liked by the people in Kyoto and has a history that dates back to 500 years ago. The goshiki mame usually comes in colours such as pink, yellow, white, green and brown colour; and are made using only roasted beans and sugar coating.
Grab yours at Mamemase stores.
Katayaki (Kinki Region)
We are certain that the cookie-like biscuit hails from the homeland of the ninjas (Iga region), yet we are not sure if it is one of their favourite food. Katayaki was created in times of old as portable rations but is now sold as a souvenir. For the curious ones, katayaki literally refers to “hard-baked”; and as its name suggests, you might risk breaking a tooth or two if you attempt to bite it (we are not kidding). The katayaki is really hard and actually need to be cracked with a wooden mallet.
Buy your Katayaki from Iga-kaan Yamamoto.
2887-2 Uenouo-machi, Iga-shi, Mie-ken
Kawara Senbei (Kinki Region)
Made with flour, sugar, and eggs, the kawara senbei provides a taste that resembles that of a cookie wafer. It gets its name, which means “tile” in Japanese, as the kawara senbei from the olden days were made in the shape of roof tiles for home. Today, the senbei comes in various shapes and is often decorated with patterns or personalised messages written in icing.
Credit: Japan Info
Purchase your senbei from Ginza Matsuzaki Senbei stores.
Yaseuma Noodles (Kyushu Region)
It is not muah chee but yaseuma noodles that you see in the picture below. The snack is a speciality of Oita and comes with an interesting history that dates back to the Heian Era. It is said that one of the Oita’s lords had a nanny named Yase, and he would, as a child, ask for nice food to eat. The Lord's favourite was a noodle dish topped with sweetened powder. He would frequently call out to Yase, “Yase, Uma!” meaning “Yase, make me the nice dish!” Therefore the name of the dish yaseuma was born. Dipped in kinako powder and sugar, the snack provides a chewy texture that comes along with a sweet taste and is best eaten chilled.
Taste the Yaseuma at Amamijyaya stores.
1 Kumi - 4 Jissoji, Beppu, Ōita Prefecture 874-0835, Japan
Karukan (Kyushu Region)
Karukan is the representative sweet of Kagoshima, with its origins dating back to the Edo period. Made by steaming a mix of quality yams, karukan powder and white sugar, the cake gives off a rich sweetness that is best enjoyed with a cup of Kagoshima-cha (green tea).
Lay your hands on the Karukan from Akashiya stores.