Wagashi: Kuromame Daifuku Mochi

Kuromame (Black Bean) Daifuku Mochi from Demachi Futaba 京都ふたば 丹波黒豆大福

Kuromame (Black Bean) Daifuku Mochi from Demachi Futaba 京都ふたば 丹波黒豆大福
Today, while passing through Demachiyanagi, there wasn’t usual huge line at Demachi Futaba Mochi Store, so I peeked in and noticed that in addition to the usual line-up of mame-mochi (mochi with whole beans) they had kuromame daifuku, mochi made with black beans from Tamba, in rural Kyoto prefecture. The recently harvested kuromame are gigantic and of course tasty.

Beans in Mochi
Demachi Futaba is a very famous shinise mochi shop in the Masugata Shotengai shopping arcade in the Demachiyanagi neighborhood. There are usually very long lines for their famous mame mochi.

Demachi Futaba’s mame-mochi is known for the softness and quality of it’s mochi and the interesting contrast of sweet azuki bean paste filling and the light saltiness of the beans impregnating the outer mochi layer.

Kuromame Daifuku: Served
Kuromame (Black Bean) Daifuku Mochi from Demachi Futaba 京都ふたば 丹波黒豆大福

Azuki and Anko
Anko, or azuki bean paste, I don’t usually like because it usually just too sweet. Cheap mochi invariably contains anko that is too sweet. Demachi Futaba, in addition to selling their name, uses excellent quality mochi and the anko isn’t too sweet. One mame-mochi or daifuku costs about 150-180 yen, which is a bit more than what is available in supermarkets, but a few pieces of the good stuff ought not to break a traveler’s budget. Even with green tea from a vending machine, enjoying on the nearby riverbank, a few pieces of mame-mochi makes for a nice snack.

We reviewed Demachi Futaba in this article early last summer and introduced their mame-mochi. At first glance, they might look the same, but tamba kuromame beans, which are black, are much, much larger than the regular beans, which are dark brown.

How Did it Taste?
Demachi Futaba’s kuromame seemed more sweet than salty. The taste is big, earthy and rich, the sweetness is subtle and complex and had a slight maple-like syrupiness. I don’t recall ever having mame-mochi that tasted like that.

Kuromame Daifuku
Kuromame (Black Bean) Daifuku Mochi from Demachi Futaba 京都ふたば 丹波黒豆大福

Kuromame Daifuku: Served
Kuromame (Black Bean) Daifuku Mochi from Demachi Futaba 京都ふたば 丹波黒豆大福

For Comparison: ‘Regular’ Mame Mochi
Kuromame (Black Bean) Daifuku Mochi from Demachi Futaba 京都ふたば 丹波黒豆大福
This image is from Mame-mochi and Kuzu-manju, our article we did last summer.

Kuromame Daifuku: Cross Section
Kuromame (Black Bean) Daifuku Mochi from Demachi Futaba 京都ふたば 丹波黒豆大福

Demachiyanagi Neighborhood
Demachiyanagi is the jump-off point if you are going up to Kurama, Kibune, Hanase and probably Ohara. If you are heading up that direction, you will probably change trains at Demachiyanagi, so this is a good opportunity to purchase some yummies to take up to the mountains with you. Also, if you are going to the Imperial Palace, Demachi Futaba is less than a 10 minute walk from the north-east side of the palace grounds.

If you are looking for a place to live in Kyoto, the Demachiyanagi neighborhood is a great place. This is north Kyoto and is considered the nicest part of the city, the mountains are always in sight and historic shines and temples abound, including a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Demachiyanagi is right next to the Kamo River and not too far from Higashiyma (the East Mountains) and the Imperial Palace grounds, so there is plenty of green space nearby. There are several universities in neighborhood so there are plenty of reasonably priced apartments and restaurants. The Demachuyanagi shopping arcade has about 35 shops and two grocery stores that are among the cheapest in Kyoto. Demachiyanagi is just a 10 minute bicycle ride from the center of the city.

English and Access

English menu: No and N/A, just point to what you want in the showcase
Service/Staff: so-so (typical Kyoto shinise service)
Hours: 8:30am-5:30pm, closed Tuesdays and 4th Wednesday of every month

Location and Access: Demachi Futaba is located on the west side of the Kamo River about a 3 minute walk from Keihan Demachiyanagi Station and Eizan Demachiyanagi Station. The store is facing Kawaramachi Street, just north of the Kawaramachi-Imadegawa intersection. Demachi Futaba is just south of the entrance to the shopping arcade.
: Kyoto-shi, Kamigyo-ku, Kawaramachi-dori, Imadegawa-agaru, Seiryu-cho 236 (京都市上京区河原町通今出川上る青龍町236)
Telephone:  075-231-1658

Near sightseeing Spot: Demachi Futaba is near the Kamo River, Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto Gosho Imperial Palace and Shokokuji Temple. The Masugata Shotengai shopping arcade, just around the corner is also quite interesting.


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8 Responses to “Wagashi: Kuromame Daifuku Mochi”

  1. Arun says:

    Those mochi look absolutely amazing! I have a sweet tooth so I don’t usually mind sweet anko, but it is hard to find good mochi here in England. I did find some traditional wagashi this weekend though and found that in addition to anko, there are quite a lot of chestnuts in the sweets too!

  2. Chris says:

    I generally hate anko, anpanman or no. But these look and sound rather good. I might pick some up the next time I go to Ryugetsudo, which is just on the other side of Demachiyanagi station — turn left when you come out the main gate of the northbound line and it’s right there, next to a mediocre Chinese-ramen place and above a nice bakery. Eat quietly: they get shirty about noise disturbing the music.

  3. Peko-P says:

    Hello Arun, Where in England did you find traditional wagashi?

    Hello Chris, You haven’t been in Japan long enough to like anpanman. ha ha ha. Nor have I! I can’t figure out where Ryugetsudo is. It is on the east-west street between Kaihan and Eizan Demachi Stations?

    Guu nigh foodies, this Peko is beat!!

  4. kat says:

    haven’t been back to futaba since pre-blog, will have to check them out again.

  5. Peko-P says:

    hi kat, Since ‘pre-blog’, eh? Well, Mr Tanigawa the Iron Chef defeater told me that Demachi Futaba’s mochi is unusual because it doesn’t get hard like other mochi, even the next day it is still quite soft. It seemed rather mysterious to him. So, yeah, you’ve got to check it out next time you are in Kyoto!

  6. Arun says:

    I found them in Japan Centre, which is mainly food and has a book and gifts section too. My friend was kind enough to find out the names (I forgot to write them down!) We had Tsuyaguri, Kuriyokan, Ayashirabe and Kurizutsumi.

  7. CT says:

    That’s a quite interesting idea there, using large black beans. I may have to try that myself sometime, and kaizen, of course. lol

    Making mochi is just so taxing, though, especially the post-op (cleaning).

  8. jenjen says:

    This treat looks like some alien from the outer space! A delicious and mouth-watering alien-looking treat I look forward on trying.

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