Behold, the Japanese equivalent of Charlie's chocolate works: the Pocky factory.
So you fancy yourself a Charlie but…you need a chocolate factory. Make your way to Glico Pia East’s factory in Saitama’s Kitamoto city. This magical factory of hope and wonder supplies Pocky and their savory counterparts, Pretz, to the Kanto region.
At the entrance you will be greeted by lots of beautiful ladies wearing Pocky-colored clothes. These will be your charismatic tour guides! Perfect.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) there aren’t any Oompa Loompas but there is a rather cute CGI mascot who’ll give you a quick virtual history lesson about the dude who started it all: Riichi Ezaki.
Want to know why everyone flocks to the flashy “Running Man” billboards in Osaka? He was on the original Pocky boxes, so yeah, he’s kind of a big deal. The cute CGI mascot also shows up on the exclusive range of stationery that they sell in the gift shop. Charlie and the Pocky factory is shaping up to be pretty damn great.
Let’s get down to business to explore the factory floor. As soon as you step out of the elevator, the smell of creamy-sweet Pocky or Italian-seasoned Pretz hits you like a bulldozer. This is it, your dreams are about to come true. Your tour guide will lead you through the basics of how their Pocky is made (think very elaborate robots and scorching hot ovens) but how does the chocolate actually get on the stick?! That, they say, is still a mystery…
You thought you’d seen it all but now it’s time for the QUIZ ROOM. Fitted out with top-of-the-range quiz equipment (fancy buzzers, huge cinematic screens), you can test your knowledge of all things Pocky, Pretz and Glico in this trippy room of wonder. Ever wanted to see a room of fully grown adults get seriously competitive over who presses the red button first? Well, your wishes are about to come true.
Don’t forget to visit the gift shop at the end of your tour to pick up some exclusive flavours and huge selection packs of your favourite snacks. Best. Day. Ever.