When thinking of famous things in Kyoto, what does immediately come to mind? Temples, kimono, rickshaw… But did you know Japanese traditional sweets called Wagashi?
Wagashi are not only gorgeous but are delicious as well. Why not try making them for yourself?
What is Wagashi
Wagashi (和菓子) are traditional Japanese sweets that are typically enjoyed in combination with a cup of green tea. They are made in a wide variety of shapes and consistencies and with diverse ingredients and preparation methods. Some are popular across the country and around the year while others are only available regionally or seasonally.
Sweet azuki bean paste (anko) is a central ingredient in a large number of Japanese sweets. Boiled azuki beans are sweetened with sugar and mashed to create either smooth anko (koshian) or chunky anko (tsubuan). Other common ingredients for wagashi include rice cakes (mochi), rice flour, Japanese agar (kanten), sesame paste and chestnuts.
The primary categories of wagashi designs invoke nature in some form: flora such as plum blossom, cherry blossom, chrysanthemum, camellia, pine, peony, fern, kerria and azalea; fauna that include the crane, tortoise, rabbit, plover and whale; natural phenomena such as the moon, sun, mist, rain, snow and even sleet; and landscapes of mountains, rivers, hills and streams. Beyond nature, wagashi may also represent objects in Japanese daily life, such as fans, bamboo screens or tanzaku (thin strips of paper used for writing poetry).
Where to try Wagashi
Wagashi can be enjoyed at selected cafes, restaurants, temples and gardens where green tea is served. They can also be purchased at specialty sweet shops, department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and food stands. Kyoto has particularly many sweets shops, while the Nakamise shopping street in Asakusa is a good place to sample Japanese traditional sweets in Tokyo.
Wagashi Making Class
Watch an experienced teacher show you how to make wagashi from scratch.
Make the sweets under expert supervision.
Taste the confections together. Participants will make the sweets to sample in class and to take home with them.
Wagashi making class is available for group tour arrangement. Also, you can combine this activities with tea ceremony experiences. This workshop usually can be found in Tokyo and Kyoto area. Please contact us if you need this workshop in another city, we will help you to find it. Bring your group to experience a very authentic and memorable Japanese cultural workshop! Contact us now!