3 Must-Buy Tokyo Souvenirs : Tokyo Banana, Hiyoko Manju, Ningyo Yaki

When the Japanese people who live in Japan’s local areas go on a sightseeing trip to Tokyo by train, they often buy Tokyo souvenirs in the railroad station before they start on their way home from Tokyo.

For example, there are many souvenir shops in JR Tokyo station and those shops are selling a wide range of Tokyo souvenirs.

Even among various genres of the Tokyo souvenir, I think sweets and candies are the most popular.

3 Must-Buy Tokyo Souvenirs

Therefore, today I will introduce 3 standard sweets generally known as must-buy Tokyo souvenirs in Japan, which are available in and around Tokyo.

Since these 3 Tokyo souvenirs are nationally famous in Japan, they are highly recommended to those who see the sights of Tokyo for the first time.

Tokyo Banana (東京ばな奈)

Tokyo Banana Cream Cake, Banana Pudding Flavor  Tokyo Banana Cake Original
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Tokyo Banana (東京ばな奈)” is a popular sponge cake with banana-flavored custard cream in the center part. This confection is a standard Tokyo souvenir loved by people of all ages.

Tokyo Banana is baked light and really fluffy in texture. The outer sponge cake is not so sweet, whereas the custard cream filling is pretty sweet as well as having a delicate banana flavor.

If you have a chance to go to JR Tokyo station, you will see Tokyo Banana being sold at many souvenir shops in the railroad station.

In fact, this fluffy sponge cake is famous nationwide as one of the most popular Tokyo souvenirs and very familiar to us Japanese.

Hiyoko Manju (ひよ子饅頭)

Hiyoko Manju, Chick-Shaped Steamed Bun

“Hiyoko (ひよ子)” is a classic chic-shaped steamed bun with a sweet bean paste filling. This type of Japanese confections is generally called “Manju (饅頭)“.

The bean paste filling of Hiyoko Manju is made with white kidney beans. It has a yellow color and gentle sweetness, while the bun itself has a fragrant smell and flavor.

As you can guess from the appearance, the Japanese word, “Hiyoko” literally means “Chick”.

Actually, Hiyoko Manju has its roots in a confectionery company located in the city of Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture.

In 1964, or in the year of the Tokyo Olympics, the maker opened its first shop in Tokyo, and today Hiyoko Manju has become a standard Tokyo souvenir widely loved by many Japanese.

Ningyo Yaki (人形焼)

Ningyo Yaki, Character-Shaped Sponge Cake

Ningyo Yaki (人形焼)” is a classic character-shaped sponge cake similar to Castella, though, unlike the Nagasaki’s specialty, it is filled with a sweet bean jam.

As the name suggests, this Tokyo sweet originated in the town of Ningyo-cho, Nihonbashi.

The Japanese word “Ningyo (人形)” means “dolls”, so the sponge cake has a character-shaped appearance in general.

If you have a chance to do your shopping in railroad stations in Tokyo, you may see Ningyo Yaki cakes with manga-character shapes, like Doraemon, displayed in the showcase of souvenir shops.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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