July 2017: Tanabata (Japan’s Star Festival)

Tanabata or Star Festival is a major festival celebrated across Japan on July 7 which, according to a legend, is the only day of the year when the Weaver Star (Orihime/Vega) and Cowherder Star (Hikoboshi/Altair), a married couple separated by the Milky Way (Amanogawa), are allowed to meet. One common practice on Tanabata is to write wishes on a piece of paper (Tanzaku) then hang it on a bamboo tree, together with other colorful ornaments.

Lifestyle Box

Various Tanabata-inspired goodies are featured for the Tanabata Lifestyle Box. Most of the items are either in pink or blue, as these are the 2 symbolic colors of Tanabata: Pink represents Orihime and Blue represents Hikoboshi.  Additionally, we have also curated some morning glory items, as this beautiful flower is closely associated with July.

1. Mino-yaki Rabbit & Sakura Ceramic Plate Set:

The set is perfect for serving pasta or soups. Let’s celebrate Orihime and Hikoboshi’s eternal love with these lovely matching plates!

Originated from Gifu Prefecture, Mino-yaki (Mino ware) is Japan’s most popular pottery. Its history is said to date back to 1300 years ago.

2. Tanzaku and Candies from Iwai Confectionery Co.:

Our subscribers will get either a blue Tanzaku with cider candies or a pink one with strawberry candies in their box.

Established over 50 years ago in Uji, an ancient town in Kyoto Prefecture, Iwai Confectionery Co. preserves and utilizes traditional handmade candy-making methods.

3. Sailor Fude Nagomi Brush Pen:

The brush pen is perfect for writing wishes and practicing calligraphy skill. Featuring both medium and fine tips, the pen is handy for various purposes.

Founded in 1911 in Hiroshima, Sailor Pen Company is a Japan’s leading writing instrument manufacturer.

4. Tanabata Towel by Nissen Shoko:

The towel features bamboo trees with Tanzaku and other Tanabata paper ornaments hung on them, against a starry night background. There will be a hand towel or a face towel in a box.

Based in Osaka, Nissen Shoko specializes in trading and manufacturing towels and towel-related products.

5. Shiraki star-shaped Rice Cracker & Konpeito Sugar Candy Assortment:

Shiraki is a Japanese rice snack manufacturer based in Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture).

6. Morning Glory Washi Letter Set:

The letter set includes 8 letter papers, 4 envelopes, and 4 handmade envelope seal stickers made of Washi. It’s time to send handwritten letters again!

Washi is Japanese traditional paper commonly made from bark fibers of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub or the paper mulberry. Washi is appreciated for its unique texture and durability.

7. Morning Glories & Lady in Kimono Postcard:

The postcard embraces the Vintage Romance lifestyle and fashion style developing in the Taisho era (1912 – 1926), intended to evoke a sense of nostalgia.

The morning glory is a widely beloved summertime symbol. The flower started to gain its popularity during the Edo era (1603 – 1868).

Number of items: 8. Total Retail Price: $63

Snack Box

Inside the box, you will find tasty and authentic Japanese snacks to throw a Tanabata party. There are various star-shaped snacks to match the monthly theme. Also, as pink and blue are symbolic colors of Orihime and Hikoboshi, respectively, souvenir snacks in pink and blue wrappings from Tokyo, where we are based, have been curated for the box. These items are hard to find and buy even within Japan.

1. Kit Kat Summer Limited Edition – Cookies & Cream Flavor (2 pieces)
2. Kit Kat Summer Limited Edition – Strawberry Cheesecake Flavor (2 pieces)

These are the 2 newest flavors introduced for Summer 2017. The Kit Kat bars are designed to taste better when frozen.

3. Tanzaku and Candies from Iwai Confectionery Co.

4. Hoshi Tabeyo Rice Crackers Tanabata Limited Edition (2 bags)

There will be 2 out of 3 flavors in the box. Flavors: Salt (Dark Blue), Salt Butter (Light Blue) & Consomme (Green). Common Allergens: Fish, Soy, Wheat & Milk (in the Salt Butter flavor only).

Among the most popular rice cracker brands in Japan, Hoshi Tabeyo is artificial flavor- and artificial color-free.

5. Shiraki’s Star-shaped Rice Cracker & Konpeito Sugar Candy Assortment (1 pack)

6. Syally Mate Strawberry Cookies (2 pieces)

Syally Mate is a product line of Tokyo Banana, an internationally famous Tokyo souvenir brand.

7. Tokyo Campanella (2 pieces)

Tokyo Campanella is a popular gift brand from Tokyo, known for its vivid blue color and delightful 3-layer cookie sandwiches.

8. Ginnobudo Almond Chocolate Sandwiches (2 pieces)

These highly sought-after heart-infused wafer cookies are only sold in JR Tokyo Station.

9. Asahi Rokujo Barley Tea (2 packs)

Asahi is one of the largest beverage companies in Japan. Meanwhile, Barley Tea (Mugi-cha) is Japan’s most popular cold summer drink.

10. Tanabata Postcard

The postcard depicts a bamboo tree with Tanzaku and other Tanabata ornaments on it. Frame it up or send it to your loved ones!

Number of items: 17. Total Retail Price: $37