Kyoto Style Dorayaki: Gion Shimogawara Azuki Mikasa 祇園 下河原 阿月 三笠
In Gion, on the way to Kiyomizu Temple is a tiny shinise shop that specializes in dorayaki, called mikasa in Kyoto dialect. Dorayaki is sweet bean paste sandwiched between two waffle-like pancakes. Doraemon fans will want to take note of this because Doraemon loves dorayaki, it is his favorite food!
Paku Says: Best Mikasa in Japan, Do Not Miss!
Shimogawara Azuki (also spelled Aduki) is famous for their mikasa, also known as dorayaki in other regions of Japan. Their sweets are really famous with locals. I used to stop by very often to buy one of their mikasa for a snack when I used to live near there. You can buy Shimogawara Azuki’s mikasa at department stores in Kyoto too, but the mikasa from the original store is different and really fresh! Fresh, puffy and even warm if you get there at the right time!
Shimogawara Azuki’s Mikasa
The waffle is soft and fluffy and the anko (azuki bean paste) is not too sweet, so you can still taste of the original flavor of the azuki beans. (Azuki in Japan is often overly sweet, sometimes extremely sweet.)
The mikasa are just 160 yen each and I think that this store offers the best mikasa in all of Japan. If you are in the neighborhood, I recommend that you try this shop for a traditional Kyoto snack. You can get a few to take out and eat them on the way up to Kiyomizu Temple.
Inside the store is a tiny seating area and you can try sit down and eat their other sweets; like maccha ice cream with mochi and azuki beans, anmitsu and zenzai. In the summer they have kakigori which is very good and refreshing. (For more about kakigori in Gion, please see this article.)
Shimogawara Azuki’s Famous Dorayaki (Mikasa)
Shimogawara Azuki’s Famous Dorayaki – detail
This one has a white azuki bean filling.
Show Window: Shimogawara Azuki’s Famous Complete Dorayaki Lineup
Showcase: Zenzai and Anmitsu
Showcase: Extra Large Mikasa
This is a fine example of Japan’s plastic display case food. This magnum sized mikasa has both white and red azuki bean paste filling.
Teppan Metal Grill for Cooking the ‘Pancakes’
Kitchen Staff Filling Mikasa with Azuki Bean Paste
Shimogawara Azuki Storefront
Shimogawara Azuki Show Window
English and Access
English menu: none
English website: none
Service/Staff: so-so (go for the dorayaki, not the conversation)
Hours: 9am-6pm, closed Wednesdays
Location and Access: Shimogawara Azuki is best accessed on foot. It is located just down the street from the south gate of Yasaka Shrine on Shimogawara Street. From Shijo-Higashiyama intersection and Yasaka Shrine it is about a three minute walk.
Address : Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Gion, Kamibenten-cho 428 (京都市東山区祇園下河原通八坂鳥居前下ル上弁天町428)
Near sightseeing Spot: Shimogawara Azuki is located in the heart of scenic Gion/Higashiyama near the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kiyomizu Temple and other historic places such as Yasaka Pagoda and Kodaiji Temple.