Wagashi is a traditional form of Japanese sweets that are mostly made with azuki (red) bean paste. The word “和”/wa means (Japanese) and “菓子”/gashi means (snacks). A few of the most popular wagashi sweets are mochi (rice cakes), dorayaki (mini pancake sandwich with red bean paste inside), daifuku (mochi stuffed with red bean paste), and dango (sticky dumplings). Apart from the alluring appearance, the taste of Wagashi is unique and delicious. Wagashi sweets have a skill of changing with the time of year. In Japan, Wagashi is enjoyed in multiple ways. Traditionally, accompanied by a cup of Japanese tea.
Wagashi can be enjoyed home-made or store-bought, or in a cafe. To give a small glimpse of the rich topic of Japanese sweets, we are kickstarting with three unique Wagashi brands and cafes from Japan.
Tea x Coffee (Kyocha Coffee), Kyoto, Japan
At Tea x Coffee (Kyocha Coffee) cafe in Kyoto, their best-selling Wagashi item is Melting moss rice cake, which they are extremely proud of. As per their official website, when the melting moss rice cake is cut with a toothpick a blend of exquisite Japanese and Western flavors oozes out. The sweets are made out of matcha and cream cheese, combined with the aroma of roasted tea, and the smooth texture of red bean paste. It melts in your mouth almost immediately. When you sit in their cafe, you can enjoy “Melting Kokemochi” while being surrounded by a real moss garden; while being taken over by the feeling of playfulness and light-hearted adventure. In case you plan on visiting this cafe, do not miss out on the store timings we have mentioned below.
Kyoto Tea Coffee Cafe Kodaiji Store Tea Coffee & Shop
49 Kodaiji Building, 49 Shimobenten-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0823, Kyoto
11: 00-17: 00
A Japanese sweets craftsman -Wagashi Sanchan
Hiroyuki Mino (aka Wagashi Sanchan) has a huge fan following on his Instagram and Twitter. Rightfully so, since the approach in which he creates his Wagashi sweets is a pure work of art. According to his website, he delivers too. The Japanese sweets he creates are known to be exceptionally aesthetic and his Twitter profile will reveal how he loves to celebrate the culture of Japan through his creation.
Misaky.Tokyo ~ Wagashi goes vegan!
Image Source: Official Website
Japanese entrepreneur Alissa Miky has created a brand around elegant vegan Crystal Wagashi sweets which is made by hand and has infused flavors from around the world. The flavors include lavender (Europe), mango (Asia), rose (Middle East), and matcha (Japan). They are packaged in eco-friendly, reusable gift boxes. As per their official website, these vegan crystal wagashi can be purchased online and the brand delivers across the globe.
Apart from these, we are sure there are many other spots to dive into this beautiful and tasty adventure. These were just the ones we could cover for now. We look forward to covering more content around this aesthetic delicacy in the future.
So there you go, a few more places to go to on your next trip to Japan. We look forward to hearing about your experiences!