5 famous confections to eat in Kansai
Written by aki
Japan has famous confections in various regions. Today I will introduce five major confections from the Kansai region of Japan.
You should definitely try them when you visit that area.
A Japanese confectionery made by kneading eggs and various other ingredients into a dough based on rice cake flour, then wrapping the dough with red bean paste made from Tanba Dainagon azuki beans and baking it on a griddle.
It is a representative confectionary of Mangetsu, a Japanese confectionary shop in Kyoto established in 1856.
The light sweetness and sticky texture are delicious!
The word ajari means “high priest” in Sanskrit.There is a reason for the slight bulge in the center, which is in the shape of a hat worn by Ajari, a priest who practices asceticism on a sacred mountain called Mount Hiei.Ajari ate rice cakes during their severe ascetic training to ward off hunger, and this confectionary was created based on that episode.
“Yatsuhashi” is one of Kyoto’s most famous confections.
A pastry made by steaming a mixture of rice flour, sugar, and nikki, rolling out the dough thinly, and baking it.
There is also a type that does not bake the dough and is called “Nama Yatsuhashi”.There are two types of nama-yatsuhashi: one with just dough and the other with sweet bean paste sandwiched inside.There are many varieties of sweet bean paste, including anko, green tea, and chocolate.
I prefer the raw yatsuhashi!
By the way, I saw a vending machine of fresh yatsuhashi at the Shinkansen terminal of Kyoto Station.
If you go to Kyoto, you have the image of yatsuhashi being sold everywhere.Some stores in the tourist areas even let me sample them!
3.Awaokoshi & Iwaokoshi(大阪)
A famous Osaka confectionery made of crushed rice mixed with syrup and sesame seeds.
The difference between Awaokoshi and Iwaokoshi rice is that Awaokoshi rice has slightly larger rice grains.
Awa means millet. The name comes from the fact that the rice is crushed into as fine a powder as millet.Iwaokoshi is often made with brown sugar and ginger.
Okoshi is a confectionery that comes from China. Okoshi is also a word that means “to rise”.
In the past, a warlord called Toyotomi Hideyoshi built Osaka Castle in Osaka and the city prospered very much.Okoshi in Osaka then spread throughout the country as an auspicious food that would “bring prosperity to the nation”.
Famous confections from Kinosaki Onsen, Arima Onsen, and Takarazuka Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture.
They are baked by adding carbonated spring water from a hot spring to a flour-based dough. Its light texture and rustic flavor make it a snack that you can eat as many pieces as you like.Flavors vary from store to store, such as cream sandwiched in between or the sweetness of the dough.
According to one theory, the source of the carbonic acid spring in Arima Onsen was once found to be suitable for quotation, from which this rice cracker was invented.
Incidentally, you can still see the source of the carbonic acid spring (it is a park).
You can drink it! (albeit lukewarm)
A Japanese confectionery consisting of a white rice cake made of rice flour and filled with a sweet bean paste, with three stripes (blue, red, and blue) painted on the surface. It is called “itokirimochi” because it is stretched long and thin and cut with a string.
It is famous as a souvenir of a visit to Taga-taisha Shrine in Shiga Prefecture.
There are various theories about the origin of this wagashi, one of which is that it was made as a banner to pray for victory during the battle against the Mongolian army in 1274. It is said that the residents made rice cakes with the stripes of the flag and cut them into bite-sized pieces with a bowstring to honor the flag.
Incidentally, this Itokirimochi does not last long. Usually, you have to choose to eat it at the store or buy it as a souvenir and eat it on the same day.
This is because the rice cakes become hard after a long time. In some regions, it is also said that the hardened Itokirimochi is deep-fried and sold as a snack.
In any case, it is a very rare Japanese confectionery. If you travel to Shiga Prefecture, look for it! They are sold near Taga-taisha Shrine, as well as at service areas and Yonehara Station kiosks. *They don’t last long, so you can only eat them at the stores around Taga Taisha Shrine!