Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon

Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon 百万遍かぎや 益寿糖

Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon  百万遍かぎや 益寿糖
Ekijuto is a rare kind of mochi that was first created by a pharmacist with the intent of combining medicine and sweets. Contemporary Ekijuto mochi is flavored with cinnamon and walnut.

Miwa says: Peko bought these sweets for after dinner and was quite a surprise for me. I opened the package and found the softest gyuhi ever! It made me wonder how being so soft it could keep its shape. The taste was also very nice, strong taste makes nice contrast to soft texture. It was a homerun for me! I just regret that I didn’t know about this shop or kind of mochi before.

Peko says: This is the softest gyuhi I have encountered. It was like bubbly soft, yet remarkably the cubic shape remains intact. Enveloped in this softness are hard, pea-sized chunks of walnut. For Kyoto wagashi, I thought that the cinnamon taste was quite strong. I liked it a lot.

The 105 yen price is quite reasonable for the complex and high quality taste.

Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon: Cut and Served
Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon  百万遍かぎや 益寿糖

About Ekijuto Gyuhi Mochi 益寿糖
Ekijuto was very popular in the Edo period, it is said that a Chinese medicinal pharmacy invented this confection as a kind of medicine that doubled as a sweet. (Clever marketing strategy!) Chinese herbal medicine was added to the soft gyuhi mochi. Emperor Meiji gave his young son, the future Emperor Taisho, this confection when he was in poor health.

Ekijuto mochi is one of several wagashi confections whose production was permitted by the government during the war.

Production of this unusual confection ceased for some time. In 1980, there was only one person left that could make it. It was revived by an enterprising wagashi shop, now there are several shops in Kyoto that make it.

Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon: Wrapping
Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon  百万遍かぎや 益寿糖

Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon: Served
Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon  百万遍かぎや 益寿糖

Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon: Cut and Served
Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon  百万遍かぎや 益寿糖

Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon: Cut and Served Detail
Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon  百万遍かぎや 益寿糖

Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon: Cross-section
Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon  百万遍かぎや 益寿糖

English and Service
百万遍 かぎや政秋
No English menu or signs. Staff was not especially friendly when I was there.
tel: 075-761-5311
Kyoto-shi Sakyo-ju Hyaumanben-kado (京都市左京区百万遍角)
Japanese language website

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3 Responses to “Wagashi: Walnut Gyuhi Mochi with Cinnamon”

  1. That sounds really yummy! Can you please tell me if this Ekijuto mochi still has any Chinese medicine added to it? You mention that several places in Kyoto have revived production of this sweet – do any of the other producers include Chinese medicine? I’d be interested in exploring this more when I come to Kyoto on pilgrimage in a couple of weeks time. I teach shojin ryori and believe that all food is medicine, so this adds another dimension that I find very interesting.

    Can you also give me the details of the shops that sell them, so I can try it when I come to Kyoto?

    Thank you for such a wonderful website – I really look forward to reading every post!

  2. Peko Peko says:

    Hello Cate Kodo Juno, You teach Shojin Ryori? Wow! And coming to Kyoto on pilgrimage? Wow, wow!

    I will put up the location of Kagiya (at the Hyakumanben intersection, by Kyoto University), where I bought this mochi today. Kagiya’s Ekijuto mochi only has cinnamon and walnuts in it. Kagiya also has a version that is kokuto (black sugar). We called them and they don’t know when they started making it. Cinnamon and walnuts are their kind of modernized version of this mochi, they don’t say that it is Chinese ‘kampo’ medicine, but it has a somewhat mediciny taste.

    Izutsu Yatsuhashi (井筒八つ橋本舗), which is located just north of Minamiza Kabuki Theater was the store that revived Ekijuto. Theirs contains seven herbs, including ginseng and sugars that are said to be Chinese ‘kampo’ medicine. Miwa also called Izutsu Yatsuhashi, just for you, they were extremely friendly and helpful. They even faxed us some information about it! Be sure to buy your yatsuhashi from Izutsu when you visit Kyoto!

    We are of course very glad that you enjoy our site, please let us know what you might be interested in hearing more about.

    Also, did you check out our Kyoto Support forum? You probably have some questions that we could answer there. http://www.openkyoto.com/kyoto-support/

  3. Wow, this looks mecha oishii yo. I wish I could try it!

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