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Schoolgirls step in to represent Tokyo, Kyoto, and a surprise outsider for this surprising collection.

Japan is home to 47 prefectures, and each one of them has a special sweet or delicacy that makes them famous. These local specialties add unique charm to the regions and help to draw tourists to each area, while also positioning them as perfect partners for exclusive tie-up products with big companies like Nestlé, who showcases their flavours in regional KitKats.

Now it’s time for McDonald’s to take our taste buds on a short tour of Japan, with the release of three new sweets that represent two of the country’s most famous prefectures, and a beloved outlier that we’re glad to see represented in the lineup.

So let’s take a look at the new “famous local specialty” range, which comes with the tagline “Choi Tabi Kibun” (“Short Trip Feeling“).

First up, we’ll start with the outlier of the collection — the Kikyo Shingen Mochi Pie (160 yen [US$1.24]).

While the region where this sweet tie-up hails from, Yamanashi Prefecture, doesn’t make it on to the itinerary of many international visitors, it’s a place that’s well worth visiting. This is where you’ll find Kikyo Shingen Mochi, the prefecture’s specialty sweet, made by a store called Kikyouya, which was founded in 1889.

Easily identified by its red-and-white bellflower packaging, this sweet is so beloved by people around Japan that it even has its own KitKat and 7-Eleven ice cream. For this collaboration, the chewy mochi rice cake and kinako (roasted soybean flour) coating that make up the original shingen mochi have been turned into a paste, which fills the centre of a McDonald’s pie, alongside a paste made with kuromitsu sugar syrup, which is usually drizzled over shingen mochi.

The two different pastes in the filling are said to faithfully recreate the flavour of the traditional sweet, while the chocolate pie casing gives it a McDonald’s twist.

Moving on to a more famous Japanese location, we have a tie-up with a famous green tea sweets specialist brand from Kyoto — Gion Tsujiri.

▼ The Tsujiri Matcha Latte McShake is priced at 150 yen for a small, and 230 yen for a medium.

Gion Tusjiri was founded in the famous tea-producing region of Kyoto’s Uji City over 150 years ago, and has grown to become one of the country’s most respected tea manufacturers. For this tie-up with McDonald’s, Tsujiri’s famous Uji matcha is combined with the sweetness of gentle milk, creating a mellow-tasting thick shake that showcases “the subtle bitterness and aroma unique to Uji matcha”.

Our final stop on the tour is Tokyo, and the specialty sweet chosen to represent this region is Tokyo Banana.

▼ Tokyo Banana Waffle Cone (250 yen)

Tokyo Banana is often said to be Tokyo’s “number-one souvenir”, and while it’s usually sold in the form of small, banana-shaped sponge cakes filled with buttermilk-flavoured banana custard cream, this time it’s being served in a waffle cone.

Tokyo Banana’s banana custard cream is given pride of place inside the crunchy cone, where it sits beside a whirly mound of McDonald’s soft-serve ice cream. The dessert is finished with a sprinkling of chopped almonds to provide an exciting textural contrast.

Now that we’ve completed our mini tour, let’s see what the desserts would look like if they were represented by schoolgirls, as shown in this ad campaign for the new collection.

▼ This makes us think an idol group representing regional sweets from Japan’s 47 prefectures is well overdue.

Whether you like the classic taste of Kyoto, the cool, trendy flavour of Tokyo, or the geeky but loveable side of an outsider like Yamanashi, these sweets look set to become a hit with customers all around the country.

They’ll only be available for a limited time, though, from 27 April to the end of May, so you’ll want to get in quick to try them. After taking us on a mini tour of Japan and previously to New York with their square burgers, we can’t wait to see what McDonald’s has planned for our next taste journey!

Source: McDonald’s Japan

Source: McDonald’s teams up with local confectioners for new lineup of very Japanese desserts | SoraNews24 -Japan News-