“My parents visited Fukushima and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”... and no matter that the lettering glows in the dark. The Japanese town of Okumamachi (where the stricken nuclear power plant is located) probably should have gone with the cliched t-shirts, however, when deciding what type of souvenir best promoted the town's best-known attraction. Instead, they went with these cookies.
An intrepid Japanese blogger from Hakkaku Culture Union discovered the souvenir sweets in December of 2010, roughly 40 years since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant first opened. They were spied in the display window of the Okuma train station's gift shop along with a selection of other local products and knick-knacks often bought by travelers for friends and relatives.
The cookies are “monaka”, a traditional Japanese snack that features sweet red bean paste sandwiched between crisp rice flour wafers. The ones sold at the train station's gift shop and a nearby candy store have the image of the nuclear plant stamped into their upper surface – odd at the best of times, which these days are most definitely NOT.
The snacks' plastic wrappers bear graphics that reinforce the nuclear connection, such as a red & white power transmission tower and an atomic symbol straight outta the 1950s that you don't EVER want to see associated with a food product. Believe me, these are not the "energy bars" you've been looking for.
It seems these snacks were being sold individually and in gift boxes of 10, the latter being ideal for stocking the pantry... of your fallout shelter!
I said “were being sold” - the 10,000+ people living in Okumamachi were forced to evacuate the town shortly after the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. It's doubtful anyone will want to purchase these “nuclear sweets” whenever the all-clear to return occurs. As for eating them, better check the Best Before date... or their half-life.