Traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi) come in different shapes, sizes and stories. Typically served with tea, the culture of gifting wagashi was mentioned in historical tales from the Muromachi era. At Toyama City's Matsukawa Teahouse you can learn how to make wagashi (complete with an interpreter), and then take a quiet river cruise.
The name means "doll town," and a long time ago the area was famous for its puppet shows, puppet makers, and puppeteers. Nowadays, the only remaining doll "theaters" are the two signature Ningyocho clocktowers. Shows run hourly from 11 a.m. To 7 p.m. but be sure to have your camera ready, because they last only 2 minutes!
Before sugar was first imported, Japanese sweets relied on fruits and vegetables with a natural sweetness. Sweet potatoes and sweet bean paste were the best Japan had to offer — then suddenly, Japan was introduced to cake.
The cake is not always cut in this triangle shape, but always features the same ingredients: yokan and castella.
Japanese candies are famous world-wide, so when I first came to Japan I thought that I knew a lot about Japan’s various snacks. Little did I know that there are so many delicious shapes and flavors that tasting every one can be a thrilling adventure.
Japan has been making desserts for centuries with unique and interesting creations based on readily available local ingredients such as rice and sweet beans. These desserts are designed not only to look good but taste great as well, helping you to cool down from the summer heat.
Wagashi has a variety of shapes and kinds instead of being standard goods because each wagashi is made by hand, reflecting a person's creativity and imagination.