Osaka, which thrived as a city of merchants in the past, is home to many long-established shops that are 100 years old and older. Here are five recommended souvenirs that can be purchased at well-established shops where the food-loving people of Osaka gather.
If you’re talking about long-established Japanese confectioneries in Osaka, then Tsuruya Hachiman, which was opened in 1863, would be one of the most famous. More than anything, what’s recommended here is their top-of-the-line product Hyakuraku (prices start at 1,080 JPY (incl. tax) for the 5-piece set), a Japanese sweet that is made by thinly spreading glutinous rice flour, baking it into mochi, and then putting a sweet red bean paste called anko in between two pieces of mochi.
Hyakuraku is a luxurious confection filled with anko that is made by boiling Tanba-Dainagon azuki (large-grained variety of azuki beans) and then kneading it in sugar. There are two kinds of Hyakuraku: one made with tsubuan, course anko in which you can feel pieces of the beans, and one made with koshian, sweet anko, that is then combined with aromatic matcha mochi. You will surely get addicted to the just-right sweetness of the anko and the taste of the aromatic mochi of this confection. Hyakuraku is available at major department stores and at the airport.
1. Tsuruya Hachiman's Hyakuraku
Established in 1805, Amidaike DAIKOKU is a shop that was made famous by their okoshi, a standard Osaka souvenir. Okoshi, which is said to be the oldest sweet in Japan, is a dried confection that is made by heating and drying rice and millet, mixing that with heated sugar and sugar syrup, and then putting and drying the mixture in a mold. Characterized by the use of carefully selected ingredients, Amidaike DAIKOKU’s okoshi has two variants: the Iwa Okoshi (756 JPY (incl. tax) for the 10-piece set) that has a hard texture with the perfect blend of the spiciness of ginger and the sweetness of brown sugar, and the Awa Okoshi (756 JPY (incl. tax) for the 10-piece set) with a light texture that is made by roasting rice into millet and then combining it with sesame seeds. Aside from the main shop of Amidaike DAIKOKU, you can also buy this sweet from its two branches and at souvenir shops.
※Photo is for illustration purposes
2. Amidaike DAIKOKU's Okoshi
Kansou is a long-established shop specializing in shiokonbu (a block of kelp is cubed or cut into thin strips, seasoned in liquid that is mainly made from strong soy sauce, and then boiled over low heat) that originated from a seafood wholesaler that was founded in 1781. The shiokonbu (864 JPY (incl. tax) for 100g) that uses rigorously chosen Japanese kelp from Hokkaido and then carefully cooked in a pot over a fire is thick yet soft, and has the beautiful combination of the just-right sweetness of konbu and the aroma of Japanese pepper and soy sauce. It is perfect as a side dish for Japanese tea and rice, and as snack to pair with alcohol! This shop is annexed to a café, so it would be best to buy the souvenir after you finish dining. You can also buy this snack from major department stores.
※Photo is for illustration purposes
3. Kansou's Shiokonbu
Tsuriganeya Honpo is a Japanese confectionery shop that was established in 1900. Its specialty item is the Tsurigane Manju (702 JPY (incl. tax) for 5 pieces) that began to be sold in front of Shitennoji in commemoration of the dedication of the bells to the temple. This sweet is made by filling sponge cake dough shaped like the temple bells with koshian that only uses only the most carefully selected red beans from Hokkaido. The seasonal Tsurigane Manju Kurikanoko (315 JPY (incl. tax) per piece) that has chestnuts in the anko is also worth trying.
Aside from this shop, you can also buy this sweet at major department stores. With flavors that are loved by people of all ages, this manju with a unique shape is perfect for souvenir. You have to try it!
4. Tsuriganeya Honpo's Tsurigane Manju
Katashimo Winery is the oldest winery in western Japan, having been built more than 100 years ago, and Tako-Cham is its product that has been drawing a lot of attention. Osaka is known as Japan’s leading producer of Delaware grapes, and Tako-Cham is a sparkling wine made with 100% Delaware grapes from Osaka. It was created especially for the purpose of pairing it with takoyaki (octopus dumplings), so even its label has a takoyaki style. This drink is famous for its refreshing taste, fruity aroma and rich flavor. It probably need not be said that it goes well with other dishes, too, so how about buying this Osaka-made sparkling wine as your souvenir? It costs 2,200 JPY (excl. tax) for the 750ml and 5,000 JPY (excl. tax) for the 1,500ml bottle.
250ml(for restaurants only)
5. Katashimo Winery's Tako-Cham
The long-established shops in Osaka have their own unique products that are their source of pride. There is no doubt that you will make someone happy if you buy any one of these as a souvenir for those back home!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.