Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ultra Amedama

There's a special process used for making Japanese rock candy that starts out by taking a big roll of spun sugar with a pattern placed through the length of the roll, and then stretching the roll out until it's only 1/2" thick and with the pattern embedded in it no matter where you cut. Referred to as "amedama", this kind of candy is very popular. At the tea shop in Ultra Machi, on the Odakyu line, I bought a bag of Ultraman amedama for about 400 yen ($5 USD). It's not flavored, so it just tastes like powdered sugar. But it looks good, and that's all that really matters when you're looking to have an ultra day.

Apropos of nothing, Ryoma Sakamoto continues to be a big draw currently. He was one of the primary leaders of the rebellion to overthrow the shoganate in the mid-1800's, which paved the way to the Meiji Restoration and all that then followed. He was assassinated shortly before the Restoration started. An NHK drama based on his life is helping drive a renewed interest in him, and he was used as a major plot element in a recent Meitantei Conan story. Now, you can eat his chips. Baked soy-flavored ramen noodle strips. Yes, you too can share in Ryoma's snack food glory.

Speaking of Ryoma, the toy company Epoch has a line of little seals that you can get from the capsule ball machines. The seals are about 1/2" square and can be applied to your cell phone. At 200 yen ($2.15 USD) they're a complete ripoff.

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