(Tokyo) Limited Offer Souvenirs! How a Famous Confectionery Store’s Charming Kyogashi Sweets are Made
Tsuruya Yoshinobu is an established kyogashi (Kyoto-style Japanese sweets) store that was founded in 1803. Yumochi, a sweet that has been sold since the beginning of the Meiji Period, is one of Japan’s most iconic sweets and is among the 18 outstanding Japanese sweets designated by Kyoto Prefecture. It is a simple sweet made by wrapping yuzu (a type of Japanese citrus fruit) paste in gyuhi (softer variety of mochi), then sprinkling it with wasanbon sugar. It remains popular to this day for its approachability and bright, overwhelming yuzu flavor.
At the store in Coredo Muromachi, there is a Kayu Chaya (counter where you can enjoy seasonal fresh sweets made by the confectioners), as well as a Sabo (cafe that serves Japanese sweets). The line-up of fresh sweets offered at the Kayu Chaya changes every half month. You can choose one sweet from a selection of three and enjoy it as a set with matcha green tea, all for a reasonable price of 1,296 JPY.
The confectioners make the sweets at an amazing speed. Each one takes less than five minutes! Mr. Matsuo, the manager, commented: "It is rare to be able to see fresh sweets being made right in front of you. We hope you will come and enjoy the traditional craftsmanship, as well as the freshly made sweets." The delicate sweets made with chopsticks are works of art. The photo depicts a Benibana (safflower) being made. To complete it, flowers are placed atop a leaf-shaped base with coarse sweet red bean paste inside.
Once you’ve taken a break at the counter, walk around the shop to consider what souvenirs you can purchase! In addition to the Yumochi introduced earlier, a variety of sweets that are made in a traditional style, but with a Western twist, are sold here. Other than cute candies, there are some sweets that are only available in this shop, so be sure to take a look!
The Iromonaka (2,700 JPY), which is only available here, is eaten by sandwiching three types of filling in pastel-colored monaka (wafers with bean paste filling). It comes with a wooden spatula, so it is easy to scoop the filling and you can even feel like you have become a confectioner! There are several fillings you can choose from: Matcha-flavored white bean paste, sweet azuki bean paste made of a mixture of mashed and whole beans, smooth bean paste, and caramel-flavored white bean paste (available for a limited time).
Mr. Matsuo commented, “They were developed with macarons in mind. Inserting the filling just right before eating the sweet allows you to enjoy the crunchiness and aromatic flavor of the monaka wafers. We use Tanba Dainagon, the highest quality beans around. They are valuable beans that have a great flavor and aroma."
Tsuruya Yoshinobu – a store where you can encounter a variety of sweets, from traditional Japanese sweets to macaron-style monaka. It also offers a rare opportunity to see fresh sweets made right in front of your eyes. It is highly recommended to stop by to choose souvenirs!
Hours: (Shop) 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM (Cafe/Kayu Chaya) 10:30 AM - 8:00 PM (last order 7:30 PM)
Holidays: In accordance with the building
Seating: 7 (Kayu Chaya)
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 08.05.2017]
*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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