Author: Kumi

Wagashi-holic who lives in Tokyo. Favorite Wagashi is Daifuku (Anko Mochi).
I’ve waited for 1 month to buy this legendary Matcha Mochi sweets! Ginza Kazuya

I’ve waited for 1 month to buy this legendary Matcha Mochi sweets! Ginza Kazuya

In Ginza, Tokyo Japan, there is a very popular and famous Matcha sweets that are very difficult to get. It is “Kazuya-no-Ren” from Ginza Kazuya in Tokyo.٩(๑•̀ω•́๑)۶

Let me share more about that sweet with you!

 

You need to make reservation at least one month before.

First, you need a reservation to buy this delicious dessert. You can reserve by calling shop or visiting it, however, since the shop is super busy they rarely can pick up calls. I called them several times, but they didn’t pick up, so I ended up visiting the shop to make a reservation. [Please see below for the detailed shop information]

 

ginza kazuya shop

 

At the shop they tell you dates and time slots where you can pick up your order, but those dates are usually one month ahead!! If you are really lucky you can pick up an earlier date when somebody cancelled and they have an opening. You need to tell them how many boxes you want, your name and your phone number.

 

kazuya menu

 

Their popular sweets are called “Kazuya-no-Ren” but besides that they also sell other sweets such as Yokan, candy and Matcha tea powder that you don’t need reservation for. But I highly recommend you try “Kazuya-no-Ren”.

 

Let’s go pick it up!

After one month, I visited the shop again to pick up my order. “Kazuya-no-Ren” comes with 6 pieces for 2,150 yen with some ice packs because needs to be kept refrigerated.

 

kazuya box

 

“Kazuya-no-Ren” is made from some simple ingredients without any preservatives, so they last only one day. I referred it as “Matcha Mochi” but technically it is not Mochi because it is not made from Mochi rice.

 

kazuya box inside

 

It is a high-quality Matcha sweets that cannot be categorized under usual Wagashi groups.

Because each piece of “Kazuya-no-Ren” is wrapped with a bamboo leaf, first I was surprised at how much fresh aroma they have.

 

kazuya no ren wrapped

 

Once you open the bamboo leaf wrapping, you will see the vivid green Matcha color. By this color, you can tell how rich taste and flavor of Matcha it has.

 

kazuya no ren

 

I was expecting it would taste like mousse by its looking, but it is way more complicated! It is chewy like Mochi, soft like pudding and smooth like mousse. Of course it has strong taste and flavor of Matcha, but I could feel rich milk taste as well, just like I am drinking a really good Matcha latte.

 

delicious kazuya no ren matcha mochi

delicious kazuya no ren matcha mochi 2

 

It was something I never tasted before and cannot be categorized in anything. It is absolutely worth the wait. Super delicious, thumbs up for it!!

 

[Shop info] Ginza Kazuya (銀座かずや)

Access: 3 min walk from Hibiya station. The shop is located inside a building, and it is really small.
1. Take the A4 exit of Hibiya station and turn right under railway viaduct.
2. Go into a building on your right side that has a small sign saying “菓子”.

 

ginza kazuya access

 

Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm (close once sold out), closed on Sunday and public holidays.

Note:
1. Cash only
2. No English menu

Website: ginzakazuya.com(Japanese only)

Address: 1-6-8 Matsui Building 1F, Yurakucho, Chiyoda, Tokyo

 
 

You have to wait for more than one month, so it is difficult to try when traveling but if you get a chance, please give it a try! And let me know how you like it.

Related post: my recommended 3 cafes in tokyo where you can enjoy matcha and high-grade japanese sweets

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

All about Japanese tea: types and how they are different from other teas

All about Japanese tea: types and how they are different from other teas

As you know, Matcha is one type of Japanese teas. However, did you know there are many other types of delicious Japanese teas? ٩(๑´0`๑)۶

Let me introduce you to the world of Japanese teas!

 

Japanese tea is ‘unfermented’, unlike most of other teas

Unfermented tea is made from tea leaves that have been heated in such a way as to prevent oxidization from enzymes, whether by steaming, roasting on a pan, drying out in the sunlight or other similar methods.

Almost all tea made in Japan is green tea, aka Ryoku-cha (緑茶), and the term Ryoku-cha refers to this unfermented tea. As the tea leaves have not been fermented, the tea becomes a brilliant green color. Thus, the green color of the tea gave rise to the name Ryoku-cha.

I will show you some of the most common Ryoku-cha!

 

Sen-cha (煎茶)

Sen-cha is the most widely consumed type of green tea (Ryoku-cha) in Japan. The usual method of preparing Sen-cha involves steaming fresh tea leaves before rolling and shaping them. The longer they’re steamed for the more the color and flavor of the tea will change, becoming darker, stronger and reducing the astringency. For that reason there are multiple different grades or varieties of Sen-cha.

 

 

Gyokuro (玉露)

Gyokuro is a type of green tea where the tea plants, shortly after they begin to sprout, are covered up in order to prevent them from receiving direct sunlight during their growth. By limiting the sprouts’ exposure to sunlight, astringency in the leaves is reduced and their flavor becomes richer. Its main characteristic is the resemblance in flavor to nori seaweed. As cultivating Gyokuro is a more painstaking process than regular Sen-cha, it is considered to be the most high class variety of green tea in Japan.

 

 

Matcha (抹茶)

Matcha is a type of green tea made from powdered ‘Ten-cha’ tea leaves. Ten-cha is much like Gyokuro in that it is cultivated with limited exposure to sunlight, but the main difference is that rather than being rolled up before drying they are left flat, and the veins and stalks of the leaves are removed. Also the way of making Matcha is different from other teas as Matcha is powdered, to make Matcha tea, you need to mix Matcha powder with hot water with a whisk, not steaming.

Related post: what is matcha? basics of matcha green tea from japanese people

Related post: matcha vs green tea. matcha is not just a powdered green tea!

 

 

Matcha is mainly consumed during Japanese tea ceremony, Sado, without being added any sugar or milk. But other than that, Matcha can be used for sweets or other sweet drinks such as Matcha latte.

 

 

 

Hoji-cha (ほうじ茶)

Hoji-cha is made from taking Sen-cha or other green tea and roasting it over a strong flame until it turns a light brown, resulting in a very fragrant brew. Due to the roasting process that gives Hoji-cha its brown color, the caffeine content is sublimated creating its distinctive flavor.

 

 

Genmai-cha (玄米茶)

Genmai-cha is a variety of tea where brown rice that has been soaked and boiled in water is roasted and then added to Sencha or other types of green tea in a roughly equal ratio. The aroma of the roasted brown rice mixed with the refreshing taste of the green tea is a delight.

 

 

Non-green-tea Japanese teas

There are not very common but there are some Japanese teas that are not green teas. For example: Mugi-cha, tea made from roasted wheat. Sakura-cha, tea made from salted petals of cherry blossom that is usually consumed in spring.

 

 
 

If you visit Japan, please try as many Japanese teas as you can and find your favorite one!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Very popular Mochi café “Gekko” in Tokyo! Try silky chewy freshly-made Mochi

Very popular Mochi café “Gekko” in Tokyo! Try silky chewy freshly-made Mochi

I want to introduce you to this popular Mochi café, “Gekko”, that is specialized in Mochi and Japanese teas. Please add this café on your list of must-visit-cafes in Tokyo!(๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و

Here is everything about the café, access, menu and how I like it!

 

Cozy small café with a good access from Tokyo station

The café, “Gekko” (月光), is located near Uguizudani station, which is only 5 stations away from Tokyo station and takes 10 min ride. From Uguisudani station, you need to walk 4-5 minutes after taking the South exit. (see below for maps and address)

It is a very small café that has cozy and warm atmosphere. The café only sits 12 people in total. Because I went there 20 min before they open on weekday, I could find a seat but people kept coming in and started making a line.

 

gekko outside inside

 

They hand-make Mochi every morning

What makes Gekko so special is that they hand-make Mochi every morning. It is unusual because most Mochi makers make Mochi using machines these days. Making Mochi by hand required a lot of effort and time because you need to pound Mochi rice hundreds of times to make it Mochi. By making Mochi with your bare hands, Mochi becomes very silky and smooth. You can tell the difference for sure!

They use special Mochi rice from popular rice farm in Aomori prefecture. With this rice, you can taste rich and sweet flavor from their Mochi.

 

Try “Donburi-Mochi” and “Gekko Zenzai”

In this café, I recommend you to try their signature Mochi dish, “Donburi-Mochi” (950 yen). It is a warm bowl dish that has 5 small round Mochi coming with soy sauce, spices and a cup of roasted green tea.

 

mochi cafe gekko donburi mochi

 

The soy sauce is made with fish and sea kelp broth, and tastes a little sweet. You can add spices of your choice from wasabi, crispy seaweed and radish.

Once I held the Mochi with chopsticks to eat, I was surprised how soft it was! Also, their Mochi is amazingly silky and smooth, and of course, very delicious! The Mochi was very nice and chewy , but I felt as it was melting in my mouth. I ate it with some spices on it. Spices are also fresh and add nice kicks to soft Mochi.

 

mochi cafe gekko delicious mochi

 

My biggest regret was that I got my stomach full with “Donburi-Mochi”and could not challenge another dish. But everyone was ordering “Gekko Zenzai” (950 yen) which is a dessert bowl that comes with small Mochi pieces, Matcha ice cream and red bean paste in cold Matcha tea. I wish I had invited my friends so we could share all of these delicious menus!

 

 

[Cafe Info] Gekko (月光)

Access: 5 min walk from Uguisudani station of JR Yamanote line.
1. Take the South exit of Uguisudani station.
2. Make left and cross the bridge.
3. At the first signal, cross the road and make left.
4. Make right at the corner of Chinese restaurant and Japanese sea food restaurant.

 

gekko access from uguisudani station

 

Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-7:30pm (last order at 7pm), Sat-Sun 12pm-7pm (last order at 6:30pm), closed on Wednesday

Note:
1. May close early when Mochi is sold out for the day
2. Cash only
3. Has an English menu

Website: minowa-gekko.com

Address: 3-7-18 Negishi, Taito, Tokyo

 
 

If you visit there, please let me know how you like Gekko! Hope you enjoy staying Tokyo.

Related post: my recommended 3 cafes in tokyo where you can enjoy matcha and high-grade japanese sweets

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

3 popular spots in Shibuya where you can buy Japanese traditional sweets, Wagashi!

3 popular spots in Shibuya where you can buy Japanese traditional sweets, Wagashi!

If you visit Japan, I assume Shibuya is on your list of must-visit-places. Shibuya is one of the most popular places, especially famous for the busiest big crossing in Japan.

I will introduce you to department stores where you can buy all sort of Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, in Shibuya! (* ̄∇ ̄*)

Related post: where to buy wagashi, japanese traditional sweets, in japan?

 

1. Shibuya Hikarie B2F

Shibuya Hikarie is a department store that is directly connected to Shibuya Station. Each floor has trendy clothes, shoes, cosmetics and food!

If you want to buy Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, make sure to check B2 floor. There are many Wagashi brands/makers from traditional long-established ones to modern ones that take inspiration from Western sweets to create unique taste.

On this floor, other than Wagashi section, you can find Western sweets and delicious stands with freshly made meals too. There are a couple of tables and chairs at the B3 floor you can take a rest from walking and enjoy Wagshi at the same time.

 

 

[Info]Shibuya Hikarie

Address: 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Access: Direct access from exit 15 of Shibuya station

 

2. Toyoko Store, Noren Street

Toyoko Store is a famous department store. Its B1 floor is called Noren Street, where you can find so many food shops. It is just like an inside food market!

 

 

Here, you can buy any types of Wagashi from famous popular brands/makers. Some shops also sell freshly made hot Japanese street sweets such as Taiyaki.

Related post: what is taiyaki? the most popular japanese traditional sweets

 

 

[Info]Toyoko Store, Noren Street

Address: B1F 2-24-1, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Access: Underneath Shibuya station

 

3. Tokyu Department Store, Shibuya Main Store

Tokyu Department Store, Shibuya Main Store is categorized as a luxurious department store.

If you want to buy Wagashi, make sure to visit B1 floor. Since this department store is luxurious one, you can find some high-end Wagashi here such as Nerikiri, a beautiful Japanese high-end traditional confectionery.

Related post: nerikiri, an edible art! beautiful high-grade traditional japanese confectionery

 

[Info]Tokyu Department Store, Shibuya Main Store

Address: 2-24-1, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Access: 7 min walk from Shibuya station

 
 

Department stores in Japan are quite popular and you basically can find anything you want. Please make sure to stop by when you visit Japan!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

My selection of 3 best Mochi cafes in Tokyo! Enjoy freshly made super delicious Mochi

My selection of 3 best Mochi cafes in Tokyo! Enjoy freshly made super delicious Mochi

There are many Mochi sweets and dishes in Japan, but, there are not many places that offer freshly made Mochi. So, let me show you some of my favorite Mochi cafes! (º﹃º)

Related post: what is mochi? a beginner’s guide to mochi

 

1. Gekko(月光)

Gekko is a very famous and popular café that is specialized in Mochi and Japanese teas. They make Mochi everyday by hand without using any machine even though most of makers use machines to pound rice and make Mochi these days! By doing every process with hand Mochi becomes very silky and smooth.

 

 

Here, I recommend you try “Donburi Mochi” (950 yen) which is a hot bowl dish coming with 5 round soft Mochi. It comes with a soy sauce based special sauce designed by the owner. It is amazingly soft yet chewy, and has a rich flavor of rice. So, so delicious! It comes with a cup of roasted Japanese green tea.

 

 

Not only Mochi, they also offer a variety of Japanese teas and Japanese tea sweets, including Matcha. If you are a fan of Mochi and Matcha, this place is where you should go!

See how I liked it!: very popular mochi café “gekko” in tokyo! try silky chewy freshly-made mochi

 

 

[Info]Gekko

Access: 4 min walk from Uguisudani sta (JR Yamanote line)
Menu: Donduri-Mochi: 950 yen
Note: Cash only

 

2. Kinozen(紀の善)

Kinozen is a long-established Japanese café that is famous for their Japanese traditional sweets such as Matcha mousse and Anmitsu, Japanese red bean parfait.

 

 

However, you can also find fresh Mochi dishes here as well! I recommend you try “Zo-ni”, a Japanese traditional soup dish with Mochi. The broth of its soup is based on fish and sea weed and tastes very clean yet rich. The Mochi is grilled and has a nice crispy surface, while keeping its very soft and chewy texture.

 

 

 

You can also buy some of their sweets and Senbei (Japanese rice cracker) to go.

[Info]Kinozen

Access: 3 min walk from Iidabashi sta (Yurakucho line, Namboku line)
Menu: Matcha mousse: 874 yen
Note: Cash only

 

3. Oiwake Dango Honpo(追分だんご本舗)

Oiwake Dango Honpo is a long-established Dango shop/café located in Shinjuku, one of the most popular tourist place. They are specialized in Dango, skewered round Mochi balls. Here, you can enjoy freshly made Dango.

Related post: what is dango? the 5 most popular types of dango

 

 

There are many types of Dango on their menu, includeing Mitarashi Dango (sweet soy sauce Dango), sea weed wrapped Dango, spicy chili pepper Dango and many more. Please try as many flavors as you can!

 

 

Their shaved ice is also famous and popular. Please stop by there when you are tired from walking around Shinjuku.

 

 

[Info]Oiwake Dango Honpo

Address: 3-1-22 Shinjuku | NSO Bldg. 1F, Shinjuku, Tokyo (Mon-Fri: 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun: 11am-8pm)
Access: 1 min walk from Shinjuku-san-chome sta (Marunouchi line, Fukutoshin line)
Menu: 2 Dango sticks (Mitarashi and Anko): 567 yen

 
 

Even if you don’t live in Japan or not visiting Japan, you can make Mochi at home. It is delicious and easy. Please try!

Related post: how to make mochi at home : 3 easy ways

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

My recommended 3 cafes in Tokyo where you can enjoy Matcha and high-grade Japanese sweets

My recommended 3 cafes in Tokyo where you can enjoy Matcha and high-grade Japanese sweets

In Tokyo there are many cafes you can have a delicious cup of Matcha , but there are only a few cafes where you can have Matcha together with high-grade Wagashi. Let me introduce you 3 cafes I recommend you to visit in Tokyo!(*´∀`*)

 

1. Tsuruya Yoshinobu, TOKYO MISE

Tsuruya Yoshinobu TOKYO MISE is a cafe located on the 1st floor of a department store called “Coredo Muromachi” directly connected to Mitsukoshimae Station. Tsuruya Yoshinobu is a well-known long-established Japanese traditional sweet brand in Kyoto. You can buy this high grade Wagashi at different department stores all over the country now. However, this café offer an artisan made beautiful high-grade confectioneries, called Namagashi. The café offers three different seasonal sweets options, and you can choose the one you like the most.

 

 

Since the artisans make the sweets on the spot, it is certainly fresh. You can take photos as well. Your eyes will be glued to the vivid hands of the artisans who create more and more sweets.

Related post: nerikiri, an edible art! beautiful high-grade traditional japanese confectionery

Matcha is served at the same time when your Namagashi is made. The bitterness from Matcha tea match really well with the sweetness from the freshly made Namagashi.

 

 

Tsuruya Yoshinobu, TOKYO MISE

Address: first floor of Nihonbashi COREDO Muromachi 3, 1-5-5, Nihonbashi Muromachi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Access: Connected to Exit A6 of Mitsukoshimae Station on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line/Ginza Lines
Menu: Matcha and Wagashi: 1,296 yen

 

2. Mori-no-Chashitsu

Mori-no-Chashitsu is a Matcha café located 7 min walk from Nishi Sugamo station. Once you enter, the café will greet you with bar-like counter with a very calm atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy both high grade regular Matcha, as well as Koicha, which is thick Matcha tea, together with Wagashi that are made by an owner of this café. Wagashi may change every day and you can enjoy seasonal taste.

Related post: thick matcha tea, koicha? matcha tea you didn’t know

 

 

 

In the back of the café, there is a room for tea ceremony where you can watch the owner making Matcha tea for you in a way of Japanese traditional tea ceremony, Sado. If you want to experiment Japanese Sado tradition to a full scale recommend you to visit this café!

 

 

Mori-no-Chashitsu

Address: 2-33-11, Nishi Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Access: 7 min walk from Nishi Sugamo station
Menu: Koicha: 1,500 yen

 

3. Toraya Tea Room, Tokyo Midtown

Toraya is a well-known Japanese-style sweet shop; it is known by essentially all Japanese people. It is particularly famous for Yōkan, and you can taste the delicious red bean that has just the right level of sweetness.

Related post: what is yokan? traditional japanese sweets that can be very arty

Toraya sweets can also be purchased at famous department stores and other places, but if you want to enjoy the sweets with Matcha green tea, the Toraya Tea Room is recommended. Especially at the Tokyo Midtown store in Roppongi Tokyo, beautiful Japanese sweets including Jo-Namagashi and others are displayed.

 

 

 

Here, not only you can have Wagashi that are made with red bean paste such as Namagashi and Manju, but also you can have Japanese style shaved ice. Don’t forget to order Matcha tea together!

 

 

Toraya Tea Room, Tokyo Midtown

Address: D-B117, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku, TOKYO (Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1F)
Access: Directly connected from Exit 8 of Roppongi Station, Toei Subway Oedo Line

 
 

Please let me know how you like them if you visit!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

4 delicious Japanese Mochi sweets you must try!

4 delicious Japanese Mochi sweets you must try!

There are many types of Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets and especially Mochi sweets are becoming more and more popular all over the world. But, if you are a beginner to Wagashi, what should you try first? Let me show you my recommendations. (☆Д☆)

 

1: Daifuku (大福)

Daifuku (aka Anko Mochi) is very popular Japanese sweets. It is a round Mochi ball that has red bean paste inside. You can enjoy chewy texture and rice flavor from Mochi and sweetness from red bean paste.

Related post: what is daifuku? perfect combination of mochi and red bean jam (anko)

There are many other types of Daifuku such as one has beans on outside Mochi layer. But, if you are new to Daifuku, I recommend you try Ichigo Daifuku (aka Strawberry Mochi) that has a whole strawberry inside together.

 

 

2: Dango (団子)

Dango is skewered Mochi balls that come with various sauces. Mochi balls are usually grilled and very chewy. Sometimes you can find Dango as a street snack and can have a freshly made Dango.

Related post: what is dango? the 5 most popular types of dango

Dango sauce can be anything from sweet to salty. But the most popular sauce is Mitarashi, which is thick sweet soy sauce similar to teriyaki sauce. It is sweet yet savory. I am sure you will love it!

 

 

3: Gyuhi (求肥)

Gyuhi is a very simple Mochi sweets, which is sweetened Mochi. To make Gyuhi, you just need to mix some sugar into plain Mochi and knead. By adding sugar, Mochi becomes even softer because sugar helps Mochi contain moisture. It is so soft, almost like melting in your mouth.

 

 

Gyuhi is delicious as it is but it is also used to make Nerikiri, which is a high-grade beautiful Japanese traditional sweet.

Related post: nerikiri, an edible art! beautiful high-grade traditional japanese confectionery

 

 

4: Mochi ice cream

Mochi ice cream is not a traditional Japanese sweet experience, but it has been getting more and more popular, so why not try it? Same as Daifuku, it is a round Mochi, but it has ice cream inside instead of red bean paste.

There is one very famous and popular Mochi ice cream in Japan, Yukimi Daifuku. The outside Mochi layer is so soft and there is vanilla ice cream inside. You can find this ice cream at convenience stores in Japan. If you have a chance, please try it!

 

 
 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

How to soften Mochi again? 2 easy ways and tips

How to soften Mochi again? 2 easy ways and tips

If you make Mochi, you should eat soon for 2 reasons: 1, fresh Mochi is always the best and 2, Mochi becomes hard very soon!!! ヽ(‘ ∇‘ )ノ

Related post: how to make mochi at home : 3 easy ways

 

Why Mochi gets hard so soon?

Mochi becomes hard very fast if left unconsumed. This is because of changes to the starch due to drop in temperature and loss of moisture. Mochi desserts with sugar do not really harden as sugar helps to retain moisture. However, once it hardens, it becomes hard like a rock and cannot be eaten.

However, you can actually soften Mochi again and it is still delicious. Or you can also cook hard Mochi to turn it into delicious Mochi snack!

 

1: Soften Mochi using a microwave

The easiest way to soften Mochi is using a microwave. Mochi gets soft again if you warm it up up because starch of Mochi changes back to soft texture again.

1: Wet Mochi surface with water
2: Put Mochi on a microwave-safe plate and loosely cover it with a plastic wrap.
3: Microwave it for 30 sec to 1 min under 500W depending on how big the Mochi is.
4: Once Mochi gets nice and bloated, your Mochi is soft again!

Be careful not to microwave Mochi too much, as bloated Mochi may sticks to microwave’s walls, and it will be very hard to clean it.

 

2: Soften Mochi by boiling

Another easy way to soften Mochi is by using boiling water. With this, Mochi gets melting soft as it absorbs water.

1: Bring water to a boil in a pan
2: Put Mochi in and boil until Mochi gets soft.

Again, be careful not to boil Mochi too much otherwise Mochi melts in water. I also recommend you put hard Mochi in soup and eat together!

 

 

How to cook hard Mochi? Easy and delicious

Let me show you how to cook hard Mochi and make it into nice and crispy Mochi snack called Arare, a kind of Senbei.

Related post: what is senbei? super crunchy japanese rice cracker

1: Break hard and dry Mochi into small bite pieces.
2: Deep fry Mochi in 160℃/320°F oil until it expands like pop corn, be careful as they become twice as big as before.
3: Season it with some salt or cheese or anything you like.

It is super crunchy and crispy and very delicious!

 

 
 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Where to buy Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, in Japan?

Where to buy Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, in Japan?

You are visiting Japan and want to try some Wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) but don’t know where to buy? Let me show you 3 major places where you can buy Wagashi in Japan!o(*´∀`*)9

 

1. Buy Wagashi at convenience stores

The easiest place to get Wagashi in Japan is for sure convenience stores. You can find convenience stores basically anywhere in Japan. Major Japanese convenience stores are Seven Eleven, LAWSON and FamilyMart. Since there are so many convenience stores, you usually hit one convenience store in every 5min while waking especially in Tokyo.

There is a section which is typically located near snack section in convenience stores and you can find casual and cheap Wagashi such as Dango, Dorayaki, Daifuku and Senbei there.

Related post: what is senbei? super crunchy japanese rice cracker

 

2. Buy Wagashi at department stores basement

Japanese department stores are usually located in downtown areas such as Ginza, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. Everything from cosmetics, clothes, food, and more can be found in a building with more than 10 stories. In department stores, you can find medium to high end class of Wagashi that you cannot buy at convenience stores.

Related post: 3 popular spots in shibuya where you can buy japanese traditional sweets, wagashi!

To buy Japanese sweets, you should go to the underground shopping center in department stores. You should be able to find a Wagashi section located separately from the Western confectionaries, side dishes, fruits, vegetables, and other goods. At the Wagashi section, numerous Wagashi makers from all around the country have set up shop, so you will be able to see sweets from various makers all at once. You can buy any kind of Japanese sweets, including Dango, Daifuku, Yo-kan, and beautiful Nerikiri.

Related post: nerikiri, an edible art! beautiful high-grade traditional japanese confectionery

 

 

The followings are department stores in Tokyo which has a wide selection of Wagashi. I recommend you try Wagashi located in these stores!

 

Mitsukoshi Nihombashi Main Store
Address: 1-4-1, Nihombashi , Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Phone: +81 3-3241-3311
Access: 5min from Nihombashi sta.

 

Isetan Shinjuku Store
Address: 3-14-1, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Phone: +81 3-3352-1111
Access: 1min from Shinjuku-sanchome sta.

 

3. Buy Wagashi at confectionery shops

When you walk along the streets of Japan, you will sometimes come across shops of original producers of traditional Japanese confectionery. There are many types of such as shops where you can taste traditional confectionery with Matcha tea in the shop. This Is because traditional Japanese sweets were made to match rich Matcha taste. In these shops you can enjoy piping hot, freshly made Wagashi from local producers that sell products you cannot find anywhere else. If you find a traditional confectionery shop while walking along a street, definitely try going in!

 

 

 
 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

I tried the most-difficult-to-get Monaka in Tokyo! Ginza Kuya

I tried the most-difficult-to-get Monaka in Tokyo! Ginza Kuya

In Japan, some Wagashi, Japanese traditional sweets, are very popular and difficult to get. This time, I tried the most difficult to get Monaka, Japanese traditional wafers! Let me introduce how you can get it in Tokyo. (゜¬゜)

Related post: what is monaka? crispy japanese traditional sweets

 

Monaka from Ginza Kuya

The Monaka I tried is from Ginza Kuya, which was established in 1887 and is one of the oldest Japanese confectionery shop in Tokyo. The shop is located near Ginza station, Tokyo.

Ginza Kuya
Address: 6-7-19 Ginza, Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo (10AM-5PM, closed on Sunday)
Phone: +81 3-3571-3304
Access: 3min from Ginza sta.

 

You need reservation at least one week in advance

Why their Monaka is difficult to get? They don’t sell online but sell only at their store and because there are too many people want to buy, you need reservation beforehand.

To make a reservation, you can call them but they rarely pick a phone (I tired so many times but they were always busy…) so I recommend you to visit their store to place reservation.

In the shop, you need to tell them how many boxes you want to buy and the reservation date (it will take 4-6 days to prepare your order), your name and phone number. 1 box comes with 10 pieces for 1,100 jpy (nearly 10 USD), which is not expensive considering their popularity. They don’t accept credit cards, cash only.

 

ginza kuya shop

 

OK, it is damn good Monaka…

When you pick up your Monaka, you will notice the freshly toasted aroma coming from the box. The Monakas are so fresh, made in the morning.

 

ginza kuya monaka box

 

The wafers of Kuya’s Monaka are fluffier than typical ones. The Anko filling inside is sweet but not too sweet and has a strong taste of azuki beans. YES, it is very delicious and worth the wait.

 

ginza kuya delicious monaka

 

Related post: what is japanese red bean paste, anko? types and how to eat at home

Each piece is small so I could eat 3-4 pieces at once. Of course, Japanese tea Matcha goes well with it.

 

If you are a fan of Monaka and have a chance to visit Tokyo, Japan, please try Kuya’s Monaka!
Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)