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It’s November 11th once again, and you know what that means — it’s Pocky Day!

Pocky Day is the day that Japan – nay, the world – celebrates the iconic chocolate-covered Japanese sweet, Pocky. We have a complete guide to Pocky Day if you don’t know all about the biggest, greatest holiday of all time.

I’m still nursing a hangover from last year’s Mother of All Pocky Days, 11-11-11 (or for you Europeans, 11-11-11), but I thought I could surface out of my Pocky-fueled haze for a while and share with y’all some cool, Pocky-related things.

Unusual Pocky Flavors

Japan loves seasonal, novelty, and local foods. You see this played out in a lot of the candies and sodas sold throughout Japan, and Pocky is no exception. Take a look at some of the strangest, most niche Pocky flavors so far:

Purple Sweet Potato (紫いも)

I don’t know if I love the sound of this flavor because it’s so unusual, or because I love the alliteration of “purple potato,” but the fact is that Japanese purple sweet potato is a pretty rare flavor.

Hokkaido Melon (夕張メロン)

Photo by jpellgen

Melon is a notoriously expensive food in Japan, so it’s nice to be able to get this rare (and regional) treat in Pocky form.

Kobe Wine (神戸ワイン)

Ah, Kobe, Japan. A thriving metropolis known for its world-famous beef, the devastating earthquake of 1995, and its . . . vineyards? Despite my ignorance of the Japanese wine market, Glico has capitalized on the apparently famous wine of Kobe with this novelty Pocky. Can you get drunk off of wine Pocky? My extensive testing is thus far inconclusive.

Reverse (リバース)

Photo by Firesign

I hope whichever Glico employee had the brilliant (yet painfully obvious) idea of creating a “reverse” Pocky got a promotion or a raise or something.

Brazilian Pudding (ブラジルプリン)

Photo by jpellgen

When I think Brazilian food, pudding isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but Glico has brought the sweet, milky flavor of Brazilian pudding to Japan, in Pocky form.

Commercials

For the last year or so, pretty boy Kazunari Ninomiya has been the star of Glico’s Pocky commercials. MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This has also been strangely prominent in these commercials, but I won’t complain.

Recently though, the ads have shifted from Hammer-based to a angels-and-demons theme. One thing has stayed the same though; there are still strange voiceovers from an English speaker.

How do you celebrate Pocky Day? Have you raided your local Asian market today?

  • Kiriain

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  • http://twitter.com/Musouka Musouka

    This is my favorite flavor. It’s so good that even the シカ in 宮島 wanted a stick, or two…. or the entire box!

  • Guest

    Pocky Day was yesterday, November 11th. In Japan it’s already the 12th ;P

    Anyways, I kept posting Pocky (and friends *g*) photos the whole day on Facebook today.
    One of my favorite flavors was rum raisin!

    I’d love to try the Kobe wine one! ^^

  • Mescale

    uhh is that really how you say pocky?

  • http://zoomingjapan.com/ zoomingjapan

    Sorry, that was me! ^-^;
    I was logged in, but yet the post came out as “Guest” o_O; …

  • Jim

    On a unrelated but equally important note, today is also Veterans’ Day or Armistice Day… so yeah.

  • Brittney Howdyshell

    Gandalf the White demands that you share your pocky!

  • orangedude

    I love sweet potatoes, and now I want to try Purple Sweet Potato Pocky! Hashi, why must you tell me of delicious things I cannot have?!

  • http://twitter.com/SactoMan81 Raymond Chuang

    I LOVE that very last commercial! ^_^ Mostly because I know a few things about yellow-capped Japanese elementary school children…. ^_^;;

  • DAVIDPD

    I LIKE THE SALT ONE!!!

  • Cat

    Haven’t tried the reverse pocky one, but since Pretz is way tastier than Pocky (why though? it’s basically the same thing, just that it’s inverted…) I think that one would be my favourite! Panda Pocky is also great, and no real pandas were used so that’s a plus.

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    Very true!

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    True, it was already the 12 in Japan by the time this was posted up. That’s what happens when Tofugu World Headquarters is on the other side of the world from Japan!

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

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  • http://twitter.com/Kerensa Kerensa

    Yah! Pocky Day! The one day of the year I buy more Pocky than I need so that I can share it with others because I’ve somehow become integrated in life and culture here. My current favorite is the berry flavored Pocky. The sticks are in the shape of a heart. So kewt. :)

    I made a short (shitty) video about some Pocky. It’s on my Twitter so just click on my icon. :3

  • lychalis

    sadly there are no asian markets in my uni town D:

  • http://twitter.com/brightest ◕ ◡ ◕ thea

    random Arashi mention spotted!
    My favorite flavor is the Almond Crush one.

  • CelestialSushi

    Finally, a Pocky Day post where I didn’t have to break out the Pocky-to-English dictionary.

    Also, I wish it were easier to find some of these other flavors in the US. Oh well; another thing to add to my “Whenever the heck I get to Japan” to-do list :D That, and Kit-Kats. That could also make for an interesting article.

  • CelestialSushi

    Ooh, sounds delicious! :D But hey, with animals using salt licks for nutrients, no wonder they were interested!

  • piderman

    Nothing cracks me up more than that terrible American accent speaking Japanese.

  • bernician

    Why is it that panda pocky is the only rare one I ever seem to find.

  • Jon

    I’ve seen Pocky at my local Target.

    :D