Special Features Sweets feature When you go on a trip, you definitely want to try some tasty local sweets. You can find various types of local sweets throughout Japan, including both Japanese and Western style sweets. In this special article, spots where you can find  unique Japanese sweets will be introduced, in addition to fashionable cafes and restaurants

Japanese sweets are represented by “wagashi (Japanese confections)”. Although there are many kinds of wagashi, typical wagashi uses “anko (sweet bean paste made with red beans and sugar)” as its base or “mochi (rice cakes)”. Each one has its own unique, delightful texture. Recently, sweets flavored with “matcha”, which is powdered green tea, have become popular. There are also many kinds of unique Western style sweets made with local ingredients. Why don’t you try some of them to find your favorite sweets?

Wagashi

Wagashi has been handed down from ancient times in Japan. Many of these are made mainly from ingredients such as grains, beans, fruits and other ingredients that can be cultivated throughout Japan. They are also often characterized by various colors and shapes of seasonal flowers or plants.
Although they are collectively called “wagashi” , there are many varieties of Japanese confections. Some typical types of wagashi will be introduced below.

Typical wagashi

■Manju

“Manju” is a popular Japanese confection. It is produced throughout the country and varies in appearance, as ingredients and preparations differ by region or store. What they have in common is that they have a sweet bean paste in the middle, which plays an important role in bringing out its sweetness. How about trying various kinds of manju in places you visit and comparing them?

■Neri-mono

“Neri-mono” is a type of soft Japanese confection made from rice powder in which starch syrup or sugar is mixed. Neri-mono is colored using food coloring or gardenias and is very colorful, often shaped to look like seasonal flowers or other motifs. It is a traditional form of wagashi with a beautiful appearance, and is often served with tea during tea ceremonies. Why not feel the seasons of Japan through its sweets?

■Yohkan

“Yohkan” is a Japanese confection made from sweet red bean paste, congealed into a jelly-like consistency. Yohkan can often be preserved for a relatively long time, making it suitable as a souvenir. There are various kinds of yohkan, such as ones containing chestnuts or ones made from sweet potatoes. Why don’t you try finding your favorite flavor?

 

Hakone Area Known for “onsen-manju”, a well-known specialty of Hakone-Yumoto Japanese confectionery shop Nanohana

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“Nanohana” is a Japanese confectionery shop famous for a type of manju known as “Hakone no Otsukisama”, which is also sold at Hakone-Yumoto Station. In the shop located in the Hakone-Yumoto hot-spring resort area, many beautiful confections are displayed.
“Gokuro-san”, a type of manju containing brown sugar and bamboo charcoal, makes a good souvenir, as it has a long shelf life. There is a café space on the second floor of  the "Nanohana" manju shop, where you can enjoy wagashi with Japanese tea.

Access

85 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station by Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar” -> 7 minute walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station

Website

URL : www.nanohana.co.jp/ (Japanese only)

Hakone Area “Yumochi”, a specialty of Hakone by an old established Japanese confectionery shop Yumochi Shop Chimoto

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“Chimoto” is a Japanese confectionery shop with over 60 years of history. The specialty of Chimoto is “yumochi”, which is mochi containing yohkan cut in small pieces. This white mochi with the appearance of yohkan is created in the image of the Hayakawa River running through Hakone-Yumoto. There are also various traditional types of wagashi including “kusa-dango” (mugwort flavored rice dumplings). You can also enjoy sweets and matcha green tea in the café next to the shop.

Access

85 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station by Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar” -> 5 minute walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station

Website

URL : www.yumochi.com/ (Japanese only)

Hakone Area Traditional taste enjoyed in a teahouse on an old road Amazake-chaya

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“Amazake-chaya” is a teahouse that still remains alongside the old Tokaido road in Hakone. You will be welcomed by the old building and a menu that has remain unchanged since old times. Its specialty “amazake” is a sweet drink made from malted rice, which has been favored by Japanese people since ancient times. For meals, you can enjoy mochi with sweet soybean flour, noodles made with agar called “tokoro-ten”, or other items. Its seasonal menus have always been very popular with its customers.

Access

85 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Hakone-Yumoto Station by Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar” -> Approx. 26 minutes from Hakone-Yumoto Station by Hakone Tozan Bus (line K), right next to the “Amazake-chaya” bus stop

Website

URL : www.amasake-chaya.jp/  (Japanese only)

 

Hakone Sweets Collection

In the Hakone area, an event is held each year during the spring and fall in which chefs of local hotels, restaurants and cafes demonstrate their skills and make original sweets.
There will be a variety of delightful desserts that bring you the taste of the abundant nature of Hakone, so why don’t you visit Hakone when the event is held?

Information on Hakone Sweets Collection

Website : URL : http://www.hakone-sweets.com/ (English)

 
 

Enoshima Kamakura Area Hawaiian-born pancakes popular in Japan Eggs 'n Things

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“Eggs ‘n Things” is a pancake restaurant known for pancakes topped with a mountain of whipped cream, opened under the concept of serving Hawaiian breakfast all day. Its most popular menu items are pancakes topped with a mountain of whipped cream. The light whipped cream and moist pancakes create a perfect combination, and the substantial volume will satisfy you. Other than pancakes, you can enjoy a Hawaiian breakfast using eggs.

Access

68 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Katase-Enoshima Station by Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar” -> 3 minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station

Website

URL : www.eggsnthingsjapan.com/ (Japanese only)

Enoshima Kamakura Area Ice cream using matcha green tea, a traditional Japanese taste “Matcha soft serve” near the Great Buddha of Kamakura

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After you get off at Hase Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway and walk toward Kotoku-in, which is renowned for its Great Buddha, you will see many shops selling Japanese-style sweets including “imo yohkan (sweet potato yohkan)” along the street.
In particular, “matcha soft serve” using matcha green tea is a popular item. It is said that when President Obama visited Japan, he had green tea soft serve in Kamakura. How about enjoying unique Japanese soft-serve ice cream while you are seeing the nearby sights?

Access

60 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Fujisawa Station by Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar” -> get off at Hase Station, 29 minutes from Fujisawa Station by Enoshima Electric Railway

Shinjuku Area “Dorayaki” with plentiful filling Sweets Café Tokiya

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“Tokiya” is a sweets shop in Shinjuku where you can enjoy Japanese style sweets. Its specialty “dorayaki” was said to be favored by the author of the popular Japanese comic “Doraemon”, and actually appears in the comic. You can take your time and enjoy its popular item, “dorayaki with whipped cream”, inside the shop with a cup of matcha green tea. The super-large dorayaki to go is really impressive! Don’t worry, though, as they also come in a normal size.

Access

Shinjuku Odakyu HALC 1F, 2 minute walk from the Shinjuku Station West Exit

Website

URL : www.odakyu-halc.jp/shop/tokiya.html (Japanese only)

 

Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku Main Store, B2F

In the food section on B2F of the Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku Main Store, you can enjoy shopping for a variety of sweets. You can shop from over 40 sweets shops selling Japanese and Western style sweets located on the floor.
As for Japanese style sweets, there are “Shinkine”, a long-established shop that has been making yaki-daifuku (pan-fried dumpling with read bean paste filling)”, “Taneya” and “Tsuruya-Hachiman”, which sell beautiful Japanese-style sweets, “Toraya”, which is famous for yohkan, and various other shops. It is a convenient place where you can look at many shops in one spot.

Access

A short walking distance from the Shinjuku Station West Exit

Website

URL : www.odakyu-dept.co.jp/transfer/ (English)

 
 

Ito Area Hot spring resort where you can enjoy local sweets Sekishuan and Oppekeya

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Sekishuan, specializing in seasonal sweets

“Sekishuan” offers colorful Japanese-style sweets that make you feel the four seasons of Japan. One of their popular items is “whipped cream daifuku-mochi” – you can enjoy a perfect combination of doughy mochi and cream inside.

 

Access

68 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Odawara Station by Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar” -> Take JR Ito Line from Odawara Station and get off at Ito Station, then walk approx. 10 minutes.

Oppekeya, known for unique all-black manju

“Oppekeya” is a Japanese-style sweets shop located near Ito Station. Its popular item is black manju (dumplings). It is all black inside and out, and containing bamboo charcoal in the dough and black sesame in the filling. The shop also has brown and green manju available, and they are also pleasant to look at when these three colors are combined.

 

Access

68 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Odawara Station by Odakyu Limited Express “Romancecar” -> Take JR Ito Line from Odawara Station and get off at Ito Station, then walk approx. 5 minutes.