Japan is currently heading towards a momentous moment in history due to arrive on 31 April, when Emperor Akihito steps down from the throne and ends his 30-year reign, bringing a close to the Heisei era.
The occasion is prompting a lot of people around the country to look back on the era that was, and take a moment to reminisce over all the changes and trends that occurred throughout the decades from 1989 through to the present day.
For Ezaki Glico’s Pocky, Japan’s beloved brand of chocolate-coated biscuit sticks, the end of the era calls for a special tie-up collaboration with Kirin’s Gogo no Kocha (“Afternoon Tea”) brand of milk tea drinks. And while the two have joined forces before, this time they’re presenting customers with a taste of nostalgia, based around the theme of “Those Adolescent Days“.
The new Pocky is said to contain bittersweet flavours, thanks to the combination of coffee and cocoa, while the collectible package designs depict gorgeous scenes featuring Japanese high school students over three decades of the Heisei era.
Heisei’s first decade (1989-1997) was defined by oversized plushie keychains, CD Walkmans, and baggy “loose socks”.
Heisei’s second decade (1998-2007) saw the rise of navy knee-high-socks, particularly ones with the Playboy Bunny logo on them, along with jumpers tied around waists, and schoolbags with colourful writing penned on them.
Heisei’s third decade (2008-2019) brought us the selfie craze, along with backpacks and cuddly pencil cases.
For the collaboration, Kirin will be releasing their Afternoon Tea in a mascarpone cheese flavour, with designs also displaying Heisei school-life scenes.
▼ Heisei’s first decade (1989-1997)
▼ Heisei’s second decade (1998-2007)
▼ Heisei’s third decade (2008-2019)
When combined with the Pocky packs, the designs create different classroom scenes, heightening the sense of nostalgia for customers who lived their student lives during the different periods.