Archive for the ‘wagashi (和菓子)’ Category

Wagashi (和菓子) is the traditional confection of Japan that developed with the tea ceremony. Wagashi come in a myriad of types and most are made with sweetened beans, mochi and/or fruit. The theme is always natural beauty and often have a reference to a classical poem or painting. Kyoto’s famous kyogashi (京菓子) are considered the pinnacle of sophistication and refinement in Japan.

Snacking on the Nakasendo

Snacking on the Nakasendo

The Nakasendo (literally “The Way through the Mountains”) is an ancient highway that linked the cities of Kyoto and Tokyo. Dating back to the 7th century, the route was used at its peak during the Edo Period (1600-1868), as one of the Five Highways (“Gokaido”) designated by the Tokugawa shogunate. The advent of modernization in Japan starting with the Meiji…

Kyoto Ice Cream: Gion Kinana – Kinako Ice Cream

Kyoto Ice Cream: Gion Kinana – Kinako Ice Cream

Gion Kinana’s fresh-made kinako ice cream, more cream than ice, is the best Japanese ice cream that I have had. Their parfaits are completely amazing too. Kinana is located in Gion, just off of Hanamikoji Street, one of Kyoto’s most scenic and historic neighborhoods. I liked Kinana so much I went back for ice cream and parfaits like 10 times…

Wagashi: Kamishichiken Oimatsu Bitter Citrus Summer Jelly

Wagashi: Kamishichiken Oimatsu Bitter Citrus Summer Jelly

Natsumikan is a bitter Japanese citrus fruit in season during the summer months. Several wagashi confection stores in Kyoto are quite famous for their chilled natsumikan jellies, in which the jelly is usually inside the hollowed out whole natsumikan fruit peel. They are a bit expensive but are quite a dramatic presentation so are often given as gifts. Natsumikan (lit.…

Kyoto Soba Wagashi Shinise – Soba Boro Cookie

Kyoto Soba Wagashi Shinise – Soba Boro Cookie

Soba Boro is a traditional Japanese cookie that is made with soba (buckwheat) flour and lots of egg. The texture is similar to biscotti. It is a traditional Japanese confection and unlike many Japanese confections, it is quite cheap. It is also non-perishable so if you are looking for a light weight, easily transportable foodie souvenir on your visit to…

Kyoto Cafe: Jouvencelle Gion and Maccha Chocolate Fondue

Kyoto Cafe: Jouvencelle Gion and Maccha Chocolate Fondue

I have received requests for more Kyoto cafe reviews. Here is one of my favorites: Jouvencelle.
Japanese Western-style cakes and confections, called yogashi, in Japanese, I am not a fan of. They are nearly alaways fluffy, puffy, airy things, short on taste and soul. Western-style cakes and confections available in cafes or for take out in the department store food…

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