Wagashi: Japanese sweet treats

18 Jan 2017 in Food Culture

Have you ever tasted wagashi, those irresistible Japanese confectioneries made from natural ingredients?


The word wagashi includes all Japanese confectionery. Wagashi are classified (into 3 kinds) according to the production method and moisture content. Namagashi, traditionally served with tea, are the most aesthetically pleasing.

Japanese namagashi

But these are not the only kind, you are bound to come across other confectioneries as you stroll around, in the streets, near the temples, and you must find the time to try them.


Wagashi in Japanese gastronomy

There are many kinds of wagashi, some more commonly found than others:

Daifuku: One of the most popular, this can be found everywhere, even in supermarkets! This is a mochi often filled with anko, a paste made of red beans.

Dango: These are little Japanese sweet dumplings made with rice flour, skewered on a stick with various seasonings, such as mitarachi, a sweet syrup made with soy sauce.

Dorayaki: Made famous by the film “Sweet bean”, it consists of two little pancakes with anko sandwiched between them.

Okoshi: Made from crispy rice and wheat, okoshi is a toasted cake, coated with syrup before drying and cut into squares.

Kuzukiri: A translucent kind of noodle used for sweets or stews, but also a representative dessert of Kyoto during summer, when freezed with brown sugar syrup

Manju: A small glazed bun garnished with koshian.

Yatsuhashi: a traditional kind of dough made from steamed mixture of rice, flour and cinnamon, then flattened and baked. Other variants could be simply not baked or filled with sweet bean paste and fold in triangle shape

Finally, monaka are small, crispy, shell-shaped wafers, which you spread with anko.

Tea by the river

To discover all the romance of the tea ceremony and enjoy the subtle taste of the various wagashi, the best time to choose is when the cherry trees are in blossom. Comfortably installed on the terrace of HOSHINOYA Kyoto, on the banks of the river, you can savour your matcha tea and appreciate the aesthetic delight of namagashi.

HOSHINOYA Kyoto ryokan

This confectionery, made from wheat flour, rice or sesame paste and shaped into fruits or flowers, perfectly illustrates the talent and attention to detail of Japanese confectioners.



A taste of Japan’s coffee culture

22 Sep 2017 in Food Culture

Enter our contest for your chance to win Japanese-blended coffee and two handmade cups from Tochigi Prefecture. Read more


Sanshô peppers, a culinary treasure

08 Jun 2016 in Food Culture

Have you heard of Sanshô peppers? Sanshô is often compared to the Sichuan pepper, though it is not at all related to this famed spice. Discover the secrets of this great japanese berry! Read more


Ice tea in Tomamu’s Ice Village

16 Feb 2018 in Food Culture

Fancy afternoon tea at an ice table with ice chairs? Head to Tomamu in Hokkaido! Read more


Chief Shigeru Konno cook

When a Japanese chef interprets French cuisine

12 Aug 2016 in Food Culture

Discover the result of the encounter between traditional French cuisine and the art of a Japanese chef, in a unique and unforgettable setting. Read more


Have you heard of the alcohol-free sake with vitalizing virtues?

28 Sep 2016 in Food Culture

Discover Amazake, this Japanese alcohol-free sake with invigorating and vitalizing properties and dive into the mysteries of this surprising beverage! Read more

Japanese tea ceremony

The secrets of the famous Japanese tea

25 Apr 2016 in Food Culture

Discover the secrets of the green tea ceremony, a symbol of the Japanese lifestyle. Read more

most popular articles