[2018 Edition] 5 Must-Buy Souvenirs from Hiroshima [Sweets Edition]
Tourists from around Japan and all over the world flock to Hiroshima Prefecture. Home to two World Heritage Sites, it also offers many awesome souvenirs from the standard items to ones that are highly recommended by the locals. Check out these 5 great souvenirs you can pick up from Hiroshima Station!
1. Hitotsubu no Muscat from Shunka-shunka Kyorakudo
This sweet is made using Muscat grapes grown by contracted farmers. The grapes are picked in the morning and then wrapped in a layer of gyuhi (a softer version of mochi, made from glutinous rice). Confectioners wrap each grape by hand to create this simple but delicious sweet. The taste of the fresh grape and gyuhi are a perfect combination, and the juice from the Muscat will fill your mouth with the refreshing fragrance of the fruit.
The Muscat grape is seasonal, so this is available only between May and September (timing may vary depending on the actual harvest). A box of 4 will cost you at least 1,296 JPY (incl. tax) and can be kept at room temperature for 9 days from the date of manufacture. You can buy this at a number of locations including the Shunka-shunka Kyorakudo Hiroshima Station ASSE Store and the Shunkashunka Kyorakudo Hiroshima Shinkansen Meitengai Store.
2. Momiji Manju from Yamadaya
This is one of the Japanese sweets that's most representative of Hiroshima. The Momiji Manju is a castella cake made with lots of eggs is filled with a red bean paste filling. The sweet cake is shaped like a maple leaf. Besides koshi-an (smooth red bean paste) and tsubu-an (red bean paste with some of the bean skin included), there are also other more unusual versions such as the Lemon Momiji, which is made with local Hiroshima lemons. They also come in mikan (orange), matcha (green tea), chocolate, and other seasonal fillings. There are around 20 different types to choose from! They are sold starting from 85 JPY each (incl. tax) and can be bought at the Yamadaya Hiroshima Station ASSE store or the Yamadaya Hiroshima Shinkansen Meitengai Store.
3. Hassaku Daifuku from Mochigashi no Kashihara
This daifuku (mochi with filling) is filled with the sweet and tangy flesh of the hassaku (a citrus fruit). Hassaku originates from Innoshima Island in Hiroshima Prefecture. The Hassaku Daifuku is the result of attempts to make the fruit into a product. Each daifuku goes for 160 JPY (incl. tax). The fresh taste of the fruit is retained in this confection, bringing out the sweetness of the shiro-an (white sweet bean paste) and mandarin orange flavored mochi.
Since raw fruit is used, the product is available from October until the following August when the hassaku is no longer in stock. Do note that it must be kept refrigerated and can last for only 3 days from the date of manufacture. It's a really popular product and sells out quickly, so be sure to buy it as soon as you find it! Get it from the Yours Furusato Collection Hiroshima Station Shinkansen Meitengai Store, Hiroshima Station Chuo Store, or the Hiroshima Station Nishi-guchi Store.
4. Kawadori Mochi from Kameya
This bite-sized sweet is made by wrapping chestnut in high-quality gyuhi that's then dusted with soybean powder. It may look ordinary, but the chestnut hiding inside the gyuhi creates a flavor that's quite addictive. This Hiroshima-specialty, exclusive to the region, is a local favorite that every resident of Hiroshima Prefecture knows well. The Kawadori Mochi can be kept for 7 days, but since it's a raw confectionery, it's best to eat it as soon as possible. The price starts from 360 JPY (incl. tax) for 7 pieces. Get it at the Kameya Hiroshima Station ASSE store or the Kameya Hiroshima Station Shinkansen Meitengai Store.
5. Hiroshima Meibutsu Tezukuri Warabi-mochi from Amura-an
The Hiroshima Meibutsu Warabi-mochi (starts from 800 JPY (incl. tax) for 8 pieces) is known for its unique rich flavor and texture. Each piece, about the size of a piece of sushi, is generously dusted with soybean powder. The great texture makes it so hard to resist. Every morning, confectioners will heat a large iron pot and cook bracken starch and sugar for over 30 minutes to make the mochi. It's available at the Yours Furusato Collection Hiroshima Shinkansen Meitengai Store only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Do note that it can only be kept for 3 days and needs to be consumed quickly.
There are many shops in Hiroshima Station where you can purchase food and local specialties. Use this handy guide to help you find the best souvenirs and decide what to buy!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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