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Sure to Be a Hit! Six Cool Souvenirs that Embody the Essence of Kyoto

There are many opportunities to visit Kyoto as the season changes from summer to the season of foliage, autumn. This time, we picked up some Kyoto souvenirs that you'll definitely want to get. Each one has designs and ingredients that are representative of Kyoto and are sure to make anyone you give them to happy!

(1) Fukiyose (970 JPY for 5 Rakugan and Konpeito) by UCHU wagashi

First, we introduce the popular “fukiyose” by UCHU wagashi, which is located near the Kyoto Imperial Palace. It is a box of konpeito (small colorful star-shaped sugar candies) and rakugan (dry starch candy) that is sure to make you cry "So cute!" when you open it. It's also fun to see which rakugan the staff will select from among the 24 different types available. The colorful rakugan, which has a poppy and modern design, represents the playfulness and taste of the owner, who is a designer.

No potato starch or kanbaiko (sticky rice) flour is used, so all the rakugan have a light texture, melt smoothly in the mouth, and have a fresh aftertaste that goes well with black tea. It is great as an everyday sweet to accompany tea.

(2) Kyoto Monogatari (1,080 JPY for 10) by UCHU wagashi

The next item is also made by UCHU wagashi. While it is another box of colorful rakugan, it is distinguished by the Kyoto-themed packaging and the designs on the sweets. Famous Kyoto sites such as the Kamo River, Heian Jingu Shrine, Five-Story Pagoda, Kyoto Tower, and Daimonji are depicted, so it is perfect as a Kyoto souvenir. There is a twist to the depictions, such as a building in the Daimonji design and a bus in the Heian Jingu Shrine design, which is based on the owner's desire to capture Kyoto as it is today, rather than the historic Kyoto. Be sure to take a look!

Each one is carefully crafted by hand so that the natural, rich flavors of the wasanbon sugar can be tasted. Care is taken to achieve the right hardness and texture for it to melt smoothly in the mouth and leave a pleasant aftertaste.

Phone: 075-754-8538
Hours: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Days Closed: Mondays (open if it is a holiday, but the following Tuesday is closed)

UCHU wagashi

307 Shintomi-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

(3) Chanoka (1,360 JPY for 10) by MALEBRANCHE KYOTO TOWER SANDO Store

This sweet consists of white chocolate sandwiched in-between koicha (matcha green tea) langue de chat. The slightly bitter yet refined and aromatic flavor fills the mouth and lingers even after eating it. It is in a square shape reminiscent of a Kyoto machiya-style house and has a brand in the middle in recognition of the Kyoto culture that values crests. The design of both the sweet and package is sophisticated and not cloying, making it a perfect Kyoto souvenir.

This item is famous around the country, but can only be purchased in stores and department store basements in Kyoto. The deep coloring of matcha green tea is brought out through the pastry chef's adroit skills and the use of original and rare tea leaves reserved for Chanoka.

(4) Nama Chanoka (1,134 JPY for 5 / 2,042 JPY for 9) by MALEBRANCHE KYOTO TOWER SANDO Store

The sister product to Chanoka – a koicha (matcha green tea) langue de chat – it is a Kyoto-only product that was released in stores from 2011. It is a chocolate fondant made from white chocolate that has been mixed with koicha, baked, and then cooled. It has a sticky and soft texture that makes one feel almost as if they’re drinking koicha.

They also sell Chanoka ice bars (250 JPY, no take-out) that have koicha foam on top and are only sold at the KYOTO TOWER SANDO store.

Phone: 075-353-4567
Hours: 9 AM – 9PM
Days Closed: Open year round


Kyoto Tower Sando 1F, Higashi Shiokoji-cho, Nanajo-sagaru, Karasuma-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

(5) Anpone (1,620 JPY for 5) by a-n Main Store

a-n draws on its experience of making Japanese-style sweets with sweet bean fillings to offer a new style of sweets that go beyond the confines of Western or Japanese-style sweets. The “anpone” is one such sweet that is eaten by combining a homemade cream made with coarse sweet bean paste (other selections available) with mascarpone cheese and monaka wafers. The taste that is created by the combination of the slightly salty cream cheese and sweet bean paste will introduce you to a surprising, new taste of monaka.

The beans for the sweet bean paste are procured from Tokachi, Hokkaido. The perfect amount of salt that is added to enhance the sweetness is testament of the confectioners’ skills. In addition to the coarse sweet bean paste, there are versions with matcha green tea filling (available only at the main store in Gion) and a lemon filling that is available for a limited time.

(6) Kyo Hannari (840 JPY for 5) by a-n Main Store

This is a manju (steamed bun with filling) with a rich matcha green tea filling. The filling is made with matcha green tea from Marukyu Koyamaen. The manju are made small and thin on purpose so that they can be taken as gifts for children, women, and the geisha of Kyoto. They are made with plenty of matcha green tea from Marukyu Koyamaen, so the taste of matcha green tea fills the mouth and leaves a bright aftertaste.

This item was developed to draw on the flavors and techniques of a-n, which has a history of creating products with sweet bean paste, and took more than one year to perfect. There is an eat-in corner, so you may want to take a break and choose the products at your leisure.

Phone: 075-551-8205
Hours: 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM (Saturdays) From 10:00am (Sundays, Public Holidays) 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (last order 30 minutes before closing)
Days Closed: Open unless otherwise specified
Seating: 29

a-n Main Store

368-2 Kiyomoto-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 08.13.2017]

*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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