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Decided After Actual Taste Tests! 10 Recommended Souvenirs from Kyoto Tower Sando

Kyoto Tower Sando is a commercial facility in Kyoto that opened on April 2017. The first floor of this establishment is lined with more than 20 shops offering everything from sweets to Kyoto-related products and delights. Now from all these shops, we have carefully selected the best spots that sell all kinds of sweets. We checked out and tasted their hot-selling products, attaching great importance to how the products represent Kyoto when they are given as gifts to friends and family back home. The list below is only filled with cute and adorable goods, and delicious products!

KISSHOKARYO KYOTO

KISSHOKARYO KYOTO is a famous shop that specializes in kinako (roasted soybean flour) sweets whose main shop in Gion sees long lines of customers outside its doors every day. Its fine warabi mochi (jelly-like dessert that is made from bracken starch) that uses 100% bracken flour and is carefully cooked with water, sugar and refined Japanese sugar seems to be sold out for days.

This is the Hon Warabi Mochi (Real Warabi Mochi) (1,080 JPY). Warabi mochi keeps until the day after it is made, so if you are looking for something that will last long, it would be best to opt for the financier (a kind of French pastry) type. <Selling period: Throughout the year, Expiration: 1 day after date of production, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Possible, Local shipping: Possible (there are areas where delivery is not possible)>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 You can smell the aroma of homemade roasted kinako and enjoy its wobbly texture. In any case, it’s really famous, so if you see it, you have to buy it!

Cro Chet Kyoto

Cro Chet Kyoto is a brand that was founded by Imanishi Seika, a veteran manufacturer of Kyoto sweets, more than 140 years ago. Its master candy makers create more than 20 kinds of delicious and colorful candies.

These are the [Hina] wallet-size series of candies, comprising the Shiraginu Temari (white silk traditional handball) (left), Nadeshiko Temari (pink) (middle) and Koicha Temari (opaque matcha) (priced at 345 JPY each pack). The most famous at this shop is the lemon lime-flavored Shiraginu Temari. Aside from choosing the flavors, you will also have a lot of fun selecting the colors you like.<Selling period: Throughout the year, Expiration: One year after date of production, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Possible, Local shipping: Possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 There are many interesting flavors available, such as hibiscus and sweet potato. You can also choose the box for free!

Hatagoya Rihei

At this well-established Japanese confectionery shop from Kyoto, the most recommended item is the cheese manju (steamed yeast bun with filling). This new kind of Kyoto pastry whose bun is made from batter with lots of almonds and which is baked with cream cheese inside is perfect not only with tea or coffee, but also with Japanese sake!

This is the Hi Cheese (216 JPY per piece). Buy four or more pieces and they will put the manju inside a paper bag. You can also fill the bag with taro pudding and other sweets. <Selling period: Throughout the year, Expiration: 14 days after date of production, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Possible, Local shipping: Possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 The dough that is made through the method used when making manju has a mild flavor. It goes really well with cheese. The packaging is also quite fancy!

UCHU wagashi

UCHU wagashi, a shop specializing in rakugan (dry confection of starch and sugar) that is famous nationwide for its trendy designs, offers items that are only available at its shop in Kyoto Tower Sando. Each of its candies uses generous amounts of ingredients, including tealeaves. Put it in your mouth and enjoy the aroma and the faint sweetness of Japanese refined sugar.

These are the Ochobo Mini Rose, Jasmine Tea and Hojicha (550 JPY each). They are only available at the shop in Kyoto Tower Sando.<Selling period: Throughout the year, Expiration: 30 days, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Not possible, Local shipping: Not possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 Out of the seven flavors, these three flavors are the most famous during summer. I personally loved the Hojicha. I want to pair it with cold tea!

Ichizenya

Try a new creation that is only available at the Kyoto Tower Sando shop from the western confectionery shop that hails from Kyoto’s Kitashirakawa district. This new pastry has the Japanese character for “big” drawn using chocolate on the dough that uses matcha from Yanoen in Ujitawara.

This is the Daimonji Yaki (1,944 JPY per piece). It is only available at the Kyoto Tower Sando shop.<Selling period: Until mid-August, Expiration: Approx. 20 days, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Possible, Local shipping: Possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 The pound cake dough is so moist. The taste of rich matcha will spread in your mouth.

7jyo-kansyundo

7jyo-kansyundo is a veteran manufacturer of confectioneries where the techniques have been passed on for seven generations since 1865. The kingyo (goldfish) that debuted in its menu two years ago is a pastry wherein goldfish are depicted swimming in the water by red bean artisans using amber jelly and neri yokan (a stiffer kind of yokan, sweet bean jelly). It is one of the most famous Japanese sweets in Kyoto.

This is the artisan-created confection Kingyo (1,080 JPY). There are other refreshing products in store for you at this shop. Enjoy the Japanese sweets created by master artisans at any time.<Selling period: Summer, Expiration: Approx. 30 days, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Possible, Local shipping: Not possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 On top of the refined sweetness of yokan and the smoothness of agar, you will also feel a cool sensation when you eat this delight.

KYOTO HONKUZU POPs

KYOTO HONKUZU POPs is a shop that is dedicated to the creation of ice candies originating from Kyoto that are hardened using Yoshino Honkudzu (a type of kudzu). There are six flavors to choose from, including juicy strawberry. If you buy six or more ice drops, you will get a gift box for your treats.

This is the Nanashu no Fruits, Uji Matcha (7 types of fruits and Uji matcha) (500 JPY per piece). You can buy and take home even just a piece of ice candy. You can choose to have it with an ice pack (charges apply) so you can walk with it for a maximum of six hours.<Selling period: Throughout the year, Expiration: None, Carrying temperature: Cold (4-6 hours maximum when using an ice pack ※Some items are paid), Ordering: Possible, Local shipping: Possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 It’s an ice candy with a texture I haven’t tasted before. It has a really full-bodied taste!

Kyo Baum

This is the only place where you can taste freshly baked Kyo Baum (Baumkuchen) that has become a staple souvenir from Kyoto. The Kyo Baum meisters at this shop bake this delicacy 2-3 times a day, and the cake part of this pastry is surprisingly soft and fluffy!

This is the Yakitate Kyo Baum (freshly baked Kyo Baum) (540 JPY), a confection that is only available at the Kyoto Tower Sando shop. There are also Kyo Baum and sablé (a kind of shortbread) that come in a box. Make sure to check the baking times at the front of the shop.<Selling period: Throughout the year, Expiration: On the day of production, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Not possible, Local shipping: Not possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 The freshly baked dough is soft and the aroma is intense. I like it more than the moist one that comes in a box!

Les Frères Moutaux

Les Frères Moutaux is a western confectionery shop whose main shop is located in Kyoto’s Iwakura district. When you enter this shop, your attention will be grabbed by this sablé that depicts the paw of a cat using berry-flavored marshmallow.

These are the Kotoneko Vanilla Chocolat (519 JPY for large and 216 JPY for small), which are only available at the Kyoto Tower Sando shop. There are rows and rows of adorable cat paws on display, so make sure to drop by. You can buy even just a piece of pastry here.<Selling period: Throughout the year, Expiration: 10 days after date of sale, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Not possible, Local shipping: Possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 The paws are perfectly made with springy marshmallow on top of soft sablé. It’s too adorable to eat!

Toshoan

Toshoan is a shop that specializes in making creative anko (red bean paste) sweets. Its most famous offering is the ball-shaped cookie that is made by kneading white bean paste from kidney beans with rice flour dough.

This is the AN DE COOKIE in Raspberry, Matcha and Coconut flavors (480 JPY per piece). <Selling period: Throughout the year, Expiration: 1 month after date of production, Carrying temperature: Room temperature, Ordering: Possible, Local shipping: Possible>

【Comment after actually tasting the product】 Its crispy, melt-in-your-mouth unique texture is extremely delicious! And what’s great about it is that it’s gluten-free!

According to Shota Kanazawa from the PR team of Kyoto Tower Sando, about 60% of the people visiting Kyoto are repeaters. It seems that the people behind Kyoto Tower Sando used that data to gather and house under one roof all the items that people who want them need to go to great distances just to be able to buy even when they are already in Kyoto, along with the famous shops in Kyoto that those in the know appreciate. Its main targets are women in their 30s and 40s. The shops in this establishment are particular about selling products that taste good and look cute or fancy. Apart from the standard Kyoto souvenirs, there are also new items in store for guests here. These are the things that mostly appealed to us when we checked out Kyoto Tower Sando!

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 07.07.2017]

*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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