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Long line at gate area souvenir shop at NRT

Long line at gate area souvenir shop at NRT

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Old Dec 2, 17, 7:11 pm
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I bought Tokyo Banana many years ago, and I only did it once. Am I the only one who thinks it is vastly overrated? Seems kind of like a twinkie to me and I certainly would never line up to buy those.
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Old Dec 3, 17, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
I bought Tokyo Banana many years ago, and I only did it once. Am I the only one who thinks it is vastly overrated? Seems kind of like a twinkie to me and I certainly would never line up to buy those.
There is an old saying in Japanese 「名物に旨い物なし」.  
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Old Dec 3, 17, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
I bought Tokyo Banana many years ago, and I only did it once. Am I the only one who thinks it is vastly overrated? Seems kind of like a twinkie to me and I certainly would never line up to buy those.
Twinkies are tastier than Tokyo Banana. But I wouldn't eat a Twinkie given nutritional concerns.

There are things far tastier than all the typical brands that have somehow managed to corner the gaijin souvenir market.

My personal favorite in the sweets department include:
- Kobe Fugetsudo's L'espoir (gaufres stacked and covered in chocolate)
- Monloire (spell?)'s maccha nama-choco
- those little mille-feille(spell?) pie chocolates with either coffee or maccha cream inside (various makers; you'll find it in every major dept store)
- gourmet fruit jelly cut esp grape (Mary is one of the makers, but I've had better ones; you'll find it in every dept store, but the gourmet ones I really like cost more and are found only in major dept stores).
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Old Dec 3, 17, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
I was just back in Singapore recently and I swear I saw Royce's Chocolates being sold there. I think they're available there (maybe you already know this).
I bought Royce at Causeway Bay (HK) last week. Priced reasonably and tasted the same as in Jpn.
Of course. There's even an outlet in my neighbourhood mall. It's just cheaper and if I was going to queue for Tokyo Banana, I might as well grab some Royce. Also sometimes there are certain flavours which I've not seen in SG (eg. the Yamazaki Sherry Wood)

Nama Chocolate in SIngapore - SGD15 (1254Yen)
Nama Chocolate in Japan - 778Yen onwards

Last edited by SQ319; Dec 3, 17 at 7:38 pm Reason: Added Prices
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Old Dec 3, 17, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by SQ319 View Post
Of course. There's even an outlet in my neighbourhood mall. It's just cheaper and if I was going to queue for Tokyo Banana, I might as well grab some Royce.
Wow, in Singapore you really can get just about anything sold in Tokyo, can't you? The only place outside of Jpn where I'd seen Royce before was HKG. There's certainly no Royce in America.

But you're right about the prices. Jpnese things are so expensive there, compared to Hong Kong for example. 25-30% more.
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Old Dec 3, 17, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
Wow, in Singapore you really can get just about anything sold in Tokyo, can't you?
LOL. I guess we just love all things Japanese...

Donki just opened in Singapore. 24/7 too. Turns out the founder of Donki chose to retire in Singapore and found a niche he could fill....

http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyl...tral-on-friday

Even though we have almost everything Japanese in Singapore, I still go Japan at least 1x a year for my Japan fix. LOL.
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Old Dec 3, 17, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
There's certainly no Royce in America.
Actually...
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Old Dec 3, 17, 9:06 pm
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Thanks a lot for the link. Singapore is so great. I can see why he'd choose to retire there.
The article says he's pricing the items 20% higher than in Jpn. That'll make it cheaper than even HKG where I find Japanese packed grocery items to be 50-100% more than Jpn. If that's true and sustenable, then maybe it will have an effect on the prices at Isetan, Meidiya, etc. Btw, Donki is pricing stuff ~100% higher in LA.
I guess I missed the opening by a couple of weeks. We were staying in Orchard, too.
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Old Dec 3, 17, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by photaco View Post
I stand corrected. I had no idea.
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Old Dec 5, 17, 2:55 pm
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I flew out of NRT on 12/3 morning and there was no line! I picked up some boxes of Tokyo banana ang Ginza strawberry.
Last time I was going through NRT in June, yes there was a line out the store which seemed like at least a 20min wait.
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Old Dec 10, 17, 7:25 am
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Long ago, I learned to do my souvenir (food) shopping in downtown Narita.
However, I always pick up a bottle of tea at NRT post-security (no choice, for obvious reasons) at a perpetually quiet masseuse tucked away somewhere in T1.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 7:25 pm
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Guess I belong to the minority. When I buy sweets in JP for my family, I always go to Lawson or Family Mart, where I fill my basket with 20 different things. Usually cost me around 3000-4000 yen, which is a lot cheaper than what you can get at the airport.
The only downside is that you don't get the beautiful paper wrapping that the souvenir sweets have.

IF I wanna get fancy, I will shop at the souvenir shop in Skytree.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 12:25 pm
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What's the deal with Kit-Kat's and Royces? Never heard of anything special about them, but also never been to Tokyo. Going in March and don't want to miss out on snack stuff, so any tips would be great.
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Old Jan 11, 18, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by shimps1 View Post
What's the deal with Kit-Kat's and Royces? Never heard of anything special about them, but also never been to Tokyo. Going in March and don't want to miss out on snack stuff, so any tips would be great.
I'm from the UK, the original home of the kit kat. Although different flavours are launched periodically it's nothing like the Japanese versions.
It's the same kind of deal as some of the Japanese McDonald offerings - you think you're familiar with the brand because of the ubiquity of MuckyDee restaurants in the U.S. And then you have a McDonalds' ebi(shrimp) burger.
I first visited Japan in 2002 and initially went wild for Japanese kit kats but I reached saturation point some time ago. However, I do have a child who has friends, and still buy bags of kit kats with interesting flavours (particularly matcha green tea) from Japanese drug stores - cheaper than the boxed sets from souvenir stores.
Everywhere you go in Japan, and I mean everywhere, you will be confronted with different kit Kat flavours that represent the region, an event, a season, a just because. Not all are good. I think I got over my initial obsession after eating the Yuzu edition. I LOVE yuzu, it just didn't work as a kit kat.

As for Royce chocolates. Don't get it. Have been offered samples whilst queuing for Shiro Koibito white chocolate cat tongue cookies, but didn't get what the fuss was about. Not a fan of Tokyo Banana either. Yoku Moku biscuits on the other hand.... My love for these will never die.

But don't worry about missing out. Just visit the basements of department stores (depachika) and keep your eye out for samples. Don't be shy about tasting and getting written evidence of what you had so you can keep an account of what you actually tried and might want to buy before you leave. You may not be able to understand the Japanese, but if you have a phone number of the company who make the product, you can google details that way.

Be aware that in March items related to Sakura and/or Girls Day will seem ubiquitous - then many of them will completely vanish. Don't be surprised if you go back to look for things and find they've gone by the end of your trip. Have fun!
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Old Jan 11, 18, 6:32 pm
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Agree that Tokyo Banana is nothing special. Agree that exotic flavor kit-kats make for nice cheap gifts just for novelty purpose, even if they're not anything special. As I wrote elsewhere recently, those special-flavor kit-kats in Jpn used to be better 10-15yrs ago. They used to have really good ones like jasmine and espresso. Now they're nothing special. I don't buy them for my own consumption.
Royce is great, if you buy their "nama choco," the kind that's sold refrigerated. Personally I actually like the nama choco from MonLoire better, but those are harder to find in Tokyo area. Other than nama choco, Royce is nothing special. But nama choco can be a pain to take home and stress-inducing due to concerns about keeping them cool throughout your trip home (even if they give you icepack), unless you've got some space in your carry-on and it's winter-time.

Kobe Fugetsudo (not to be confused w/ Tokyo Fugetsudo)'s L'espoir Gaufrier is great.
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