Candy Show Time (originally "Candy Artisans - The Red Balloon") is a business from Melbourne, Australia that founders Pascal & Nina have fused and re-created for the Japanese market to produce the finest hand-crafted candies in the world today. With stylish stores bursting with color, a product range of over 30 unique flavors, and collaborations with popular characters like Hello Kitty and Chibi Maruko-chan, it's no wonder that Candy Show Time is the hottest hangout in Harajuku for people of all generations.
Passersby stop in their tracks and gawk as an employee stretches a white clump of candy as large and soft as pizza dough. Children in the store point excitedly through the glass while another employee kneads two long strips of colored candy. Along one wall are rows and rows of little jars filled with colorful candy. Along another wall are heart-shaped swirl pops and funny lollipops shaped like red lips (strawberry), a black mustache (café au lait), and my favorite: a toothbrush complete with rainbow-colored toothpaste.
Although the chain itself is Australian, the flavors are distinctively Japanese (lemon squash, ramune, yogurt, green apple, cola etc.), so they're good for souvenirs as well. I especially recommend the Tokyo mix (an assortment of candies with patterns of cherry blossoms, the Chinese characters for "Tokyo", happi, etc.). The Thank you mix, with the word "thank you" in Japanese, English, French, and Italian, is a tasty spin on the usual Hallmark card.
Candy Show Time also has branches in Kyoto and Omotesando. Certain products are only available at a specific branch. The Omotesando store (5 minutes from the Omotesando Exit of JR Harajuku Station, 3 minutes from the Tokyo Metro Meiji-jingumae Station) has a sight that's not to be missed: a rotating tower of candy that you can use a kaleidoscope to look through!
This will give you an idea of the price range:
- Lollipops: Small - ¥400; Medium - ¥700; Large - ¥1500
- Pillow candy pack (60g): ¥450
- Thank you mix: Bottle (60g) - ¥700; Pack (45g) - ¥450