Wagashi: Chadango and Minazuki (茶だんご みなづき)
Minazuki is an early summer wagashi that from centuries ago commoners ate on the day that royals ate — ice.
In preparation of the 30th day of the 6 month, I (Peko), stopped by Sentaro (reviewed previously here) in the food court at Takashimaya Department Store and picked up some minazuki and chadando.
Minazuki: Minazuki is a layer of uiro with azuki beans on top. Uiro is similar to mochi, but instead of being steamed rice that has been pounded, uiro is mixture of flour, rice or, more often, wheat, water and sugar that has been streamed.
Minazuki is only eaten in June. In ancient times the imperial court celebrated the end of the first half the year on June 30 with ice. Ice, an out-of-this-world summer luxury, was frozen in winter and stored in a subterranean building that can still be seen today at the Kyoto Imperial Palace (Sento Gosho). (For more about ice and summer treats see the Gion Koishi ‘Shaved Ice’ article.)
This minazuki is green as it is green tea flavored but the traditional would be white. Both colors are available now. The white color represented ice to the commoners of ancient Kyoto.
Chadango: Chadango is a classic green tea flavored dango. Sentaro sprinkles some tea leaf on it. Chadando is available year-round.
Unwrapping Chadango and Minazuki
This minazuki is green tea flavored.
English menu: none
English website: none | Japanese language website (nice photos)
Price: 500 – 1,000 yen. (no sit down area, take-out only)
Location and Access: Sentaro Honten (main store) is located on Teramachi Street about a 2 minute walk south from Shijo Street.
Address: 604-8032 Kyoto-shi Shimogyo-ku Teramachi-dori Bukkou-ji agaru Nakanomachi 576
Near Sightseeing Spot: Sentaro Honten is located in the center of Kyoto near Shijo Kawaramachi. This area has several department stores. It is the main shopping area of Kyoto. Shijo Karasuma is about a 10 minute walk.