Sweets for early spring and the Doll Festival

2月 27th, 2018 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »



Our shop is located near Bairin Park, one of the most famous gardens in Japan known for its beautiful Japanese plum (Ume) trees. There are as many as 1300 trees of about 50 varieties in this park, and so many people visit there every year around their peak season, which falls early- to mid-March.
The Ume Festival is also held in mid-March as well (Mar. 10 and 11 this year).

We have a Higashi (dried sweets) product associated with these Ume trees and blossoms (left).
This is made from a pair of thinly sliced Mochi (sticky rice) wafers, sandwiching a mixture of Ume paste and a special type of sugar that has a stronger flavor than regular types called “Wasanbon-tou.” The sugar’s flavor compliments the flavor and scent of ume plum.

Of course, we are still selling sweets for the “Doll Festival (Hina-matsuri)” that falls on March 3rd. One of them is called ”Hina-no-yoi” (On the night of the Doll Festival: right). This is a sweetened flat Mochi (sticky rice) stuffed with grainy sweetened azuki bean paste sandwiched with a pair of thinly sliced Mochi wafers. This sweet is branded with the Emperor and Empress on the surface.

The “Hina-Matsuri” originated in China where people had a custom of making paper dolls and would throw them down the river hoping the dolls could take away evil spirits. Now, the Japanese people display at home beautiful dolls dressed in the Japanese Heian-era costumes representing the Emperor, Empress and their court. We hope that our daughters will grow healthy and become as graceful and beautiful as the Heian nobility.




Mitono-machi Halloween

10月 22nd, 2017 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »


Halloween is just around the corner and we’ve got delicious ghoulish sweets just for you!
Photo: Halloween Jack o’Lantern Monaka (Sticky rice cracker filled with grainy azuki bean paste) and Neri-kiri (fresh sweet made from sweetened azuki bean and yam paste)
On Saturday, October 28th, we’ll be hosting our annual ” Mitono machi trick or treating event”. Come and join the fun dressed in crazy, scary, unique costumes!!!! Don’t forget to say ” Trick or Treat!”


Halloween Wagashi

Risshun (First Day of Spring)

2月 10th, 2017 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »


February 3rd is known as “Setsubun” in Japanese. Setsubun refers to the eve of the first day of spring called Rishun based on the lunar calendar normally falling on February 3rd. Rishun is the first seasonal term of the “Twenty-Four Sekki (Japanese 24 seasonal terms).” It is customary for the Japanese to hold a “bean-throwing ceremony” on the day of Setsubun hoping to drive away evil spirits and bring happiness into the house. When we throw beans, we chant, “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi (Out with the demons, in with good fortune!”)
On this occasion, we are gradually shifting our focus on the upcoming spring in order to deliver you the sense of spring with our sweets. Don’t forget to check out our beautifully decorated, passionate, and “full of love” Valentine wagashi as well!


Decorative wagashi (traditional Japanese sweet) for Valentine’s Day


Flower Basket
Assortment of small-sized wagashi reminiscent of beautiful flowers in a basket (traditional Japanese sweet)


Wagashi sweets sold in late January.
(From upper right) Uguisu-mochi (made from sticky rice depicting Japanese bush warbler), Kobai (Red Japanese Ume plum), Suisen(Narcissus), Oni-yarai(Out with the demons), and Tsubaki-mochi

Tsubaki-mochi dates back to the Heian period(794-1192). It was made from sticky rice power and the ivy sap syrup called ‘Amazura.” They were mixed into the dumpling and then sandwiched between a pair of camellia leaves. This sweet was apparently made and distributed only in events called “Kemari (a kind of football competion held at the houses of courtiers.)

However, sticky rice powder and Amazura were replaced with “Domyoji Powder” (a king of sticky rice powder whose grains are much bigger than usual powder) and regular sugar respectively. Also, the dumpling is now stuffed with sweetened bean paste.

Tsubaki-mochi also appears in famous Japanese literature such as the “Tale of Genji.”



Wagashi for Autumn

9月 26th, 2016 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »


We are beginning to see some signs of autumn approaching. We can now feel a cool breeze in the evening although it’s still hot and humid during the day. Preparing for various sweets reflecting the upcoming autumn, we have just begun to sell “Kuri-kinton” (chestnuts-based sweet, one of the most popular types of Wagashi in autumn) today!



Namagashi (fresh sweet):
Kikyo (balloon flower), Kuri-kinton, and Kise-nishiki (chrysanthemum flower with morning dew)



Han-namagashi (semi-dried sweet)
Gyuhi (sweetened rice cake stuffed with sweetened bean paste), Yuzu (Japanese citron)-flavored Gyuhi, and Yomogi (kind of Chinese herb)-flavored Gyuhi
Iori-no-tsuki (moon seen from a thatched hut): Gyuhi sandwiched in between Mochi (rice cake) crackers

For Mid-summer Gift

7月 4th, 2016 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »


Japan’s summer is back!
Taste our delicious jellied sweets cold and cool yourself from this humidity.
We offer 6 original flavors made from healthy ingredients such as azuki beans, Japanese ume plum, blueberry, hawthorn berry, citrus fruit and rice.
They are best suitable for a mid-summer gift!!



Our Wagashi-making tour featured in National Geographic Traveller Magazine!!

6月 29th, 2016 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »


Our Wagshi-making tour is featured in the June issue of the UK National Geographic Traveller Magazine!!!!!!!!!!



Preparing Higashi for the New Year

11月 19th, 2015 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »

Picture: Higashi (dried sweets) depicting Matsuba (pine needles)
Matsu (pine tree) is one of Japan’s three auspicious plants together with Take (bamboo) and Ume (Japanese plum), and used on various festive occasions such as the New Year celebration and weddings.
This requires time-consuming and labor-intentive processes and we are currently preparing many kinds of dried sweets for the New Year holiday season.



Nippon Quest Monthly Award

11月 18th, 2015 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »



NIPPON QUEST is a project initiated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry aiming to introduce Japan’s local specialties to the world. These specialties are classified into 3 categories of Food, Goods and Activity and our shop’s Waghashi (traditional Japanese sweets)-making program has been chosen as the specialty of the month in October in the “Activity” field. We are grateful for your support!


6月 26th, 2015 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »

The Ukai(cormorant fishing) season has started in Gifu City, which means the season for Ayu-gashi begins as well!! Ayu-gashi is a crepe-like, fish-shaped sweet stuffed with sweetened mochi. This seasonal sweet is now available for sale so why don’t you taste it to feel the herald of the summer in Gifu!!



Wagashi Presentation

4月 12th, 2015 Posted in blog in English | No Comments »

We had an opportunity to talk about Wagashi at the monthly meeting of the CCEA (Cross Cultural Exchange Association), an NPO for international exchange, based in Nagoya. Not only did the participants listen to a detailed explanation, but some of them got to try their hands at making a sweet! We hope all the participants had fun and deepened their understanding about Wagashi and the Japanese culture.