KYOTO Sweets


Sweets from Kyoto

Many temples and shrines in Kyoto (and elsewhere in Japan) serve special sweets in the tea stalls (chaya) on the access road to the compounds. People of Kyoto enjoy them on the annual festivals of these temples and shrines and on other occaisons of their visit.

Some sweets are only sold at these shops.
I will try and list them here as I find them.


aburimochi, aburi mochi あぶりもち. のあぶり餅
slightly roasted dumplings

from Imamiya shrine 今宮神社

It has been prepared for more than 1000 years, when the plague was raging in Kyoto. The shrine has been built in 1001 in order to appease the god of the pest. Now even in sprng for the festival they serve these dumplingt to the gods and hope for health for all inhabitants of Kyoto.
(Second sunday of April)

To eat these dumplings after visiting the shrine will keep you in good health.

There are two shops in front of the entrance, both have a flair of old Kyoto. The kamisan female owner of each shop makes these small dumplings herself with a few helpers. They are not enemies, but friendly with each other.

The dumplings are made from the dough rolled in long strings, then cut in thumbsize bits and rolled in kinako soybean flower. These small balls are wrapped around a bamboo skewer which is half split at the top where the dumpling is kneaded around so that it does not fall down. Just preparing these skewers is a skill to be learned and done by the kamisan herself.
The dumplings are then slightly grilled over charcoal, when a customer orders them. About 10 or more make one serving. They are placed on a plate and covered with a sauce of sweet white miso paste (shiromisodare). This sauce is the secret of each shop.

the shop Ichiwa 一和のあぶり餅

the shop Kasariya かざりやのあぶり餅

yasurai matsuri やすらいまつり, やすらい祭
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Imamiya Jinja is a picturesque Shinto shrine located northeast from Daitoku-ji, one of Kyoto’s well-known Rinzai Zen temples. This shrine is said to originate from a holy place established on Funaoka Hill in 994 for protection against plague. The present Imamiya Jinja was established when that shrine was moved to its current location, where three deities are worshipped: Daikokuten, god and symbol of the earth; Ebisu, god of the sea and prosperous business; and Kushiinadahime-no-mikoto, a goddess of the paddy fields.
“Imamiya” means a newly established shrine.
The present buildings were built in 1902.
Yasurai Matsuri is held on the second Sunday of April and is an intangible cultural heritage. The festival originated in attempts to appease, through festival music and dance, the petrels flying around Kyoto with cherry blossom petals in their beaks, which were thought to be spreading plague, since it had started at the time when such petals fall. During the festivities, people costumed as goblins or red and black devils jump and dance to the music of beating drums and flutes.
It is said that festival participants won’t become ill if they pass beneath a special long-handled, decorated umbrella. Yasurai Matsuri is the first festival of the year in Kyoto (where everything begins in spring) and it is also said that the weather will be fine for all of the year’s festival days in Kyoto if the skies are clear when Yasurai Matsuri is held.
There is a magical stone in Imamiya Shrine. It is called “ahokashisan” and displayed a small building. Folk wisdom holds that if a person who is in delicate health strokes the stone and then rubs the faulty points in their body, he or she can recover early.

In Imamiya Shrine, you can get unique charms or talismans. One of them is the
tamanokoshi (marry into the purple) charm 玉の輿お守り.
It is a vivid navy blue and printed with the designs of Kyoto vegetables.

This charm is derived from an old story:
Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-51), the 3rd Edo shogun, fell in love with a beautiful girl named Otama, who was born in Kyoto’s Nishijin weaving district as the daughter of a greengrocer. Iemitsu took Otama as a concubine and she bore him a son, who later became the 5th Edo shogun, Tokugawa Ietsuna. In 1651, when Iemitsu died, Otama became a Buddhist nun under the name Keishoin. She had kept Nishijin in mind even after achieving a high status, and she seems to have exerted herself to build a temple, revive the Yasurai Matsuri (which had been suspended), and support Nishijin after she heard of the ruin of Imamiya Shrine.
The guardian gods of Nishijin also protect Imamiya Shrine, so people wished for the prosperity of the Nishijin area. Local residents say that the word “tamanokoshi” can be traced back to Otama’s story, and anyone who wants to become a “Cinderella”, or simply be happy, can visit this shrine to buy this charm.
source : www.kyopro.kufs.ac.jp

Yasurai matsuri 安良居祭 (やすらいまつり) Yasurai festival
yasurai やすらい
yasurai hana やすらい花(やすらいはな) yasurai flowers
. . . CLICK here for flowers Photos !
kigo for late spring

Kyoto Vegetables 京野菜

. Imamiya Matsuri Festival .


Kyoo ame 京飴 Kyo-Ame, Kyoto Candy
candy (ame 飴) is a favorite with the ladies of Kyoto, who always carry a box with a few of their favorite samples, called ame-chan 飴ちゃん。
The kandy of Kyoto is almost transparent and looks almost like diamonds. It can be formed in many colors to form patterns and faces.

. . . CLICK here for Photos ! 


awamochi, awa-mochi あわもち / あわ餅 millet dumplings, millet cake
Kitanotenmangu 北野天満宮
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

daimonji okuribi senbei 大文字送り火煎餅
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Photo from Nakamura Daruma san.

だるま巾着 Daruma Kinchaku sweets


Gion Chigo Mochi 祇園稚児餅 / 祇園 ちご餅
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Gion Mameheitoo 祇園豆平糖 candy sticks with beans inside
How to make them is the top secret of the store.
. . . CLICK here for Photos ! 

Hotaru Namagashi 蛍 firefly sweets, fireflies sweets

kyooyasai ame 京野菜飴 candy with flavor of Kyoto vegetables
Instead of water the liquid from fresh vegetables is used. They come in various colors, like the vegetables.
see Kyoto Vegetables.
. . . CLICK here for Photos ! 

mitarashi dango みたらしだんご dumplings with sauce
Shimogamo Shrine

yakimochi やきもち (焼き餅)
mochi roasted over hot ambers

Kamigamo Shrine 上賀茂神社
mochi-toasting (mochiyaki)
baked rice cakes with a pun on “jealousy”
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
geröstete Reiskuchen

yakimochi in other traditions
Yakimochi Fudoo Son 焼き餅不動尊


yuurei kosodate ame 幽霊子育て飴
"candy for a ghost bringing up a baby"

Ghost candy for her kid
Once long a go, a pale woman in a light blue kimono bought just one piece of candy every night at midnight. The shopkeeper was suspicious and followed her, but she vanished at the graveyard. He entered and heard a faint sound of crying of baby near a newly marked grave. He dug in the grave and found a living baby in the coffin beside dead woman.
The pregnant woman had died and been buried, but her unborn baby was not dead and in her motherly love she tried to keep it alive.
The shopkeeper adopted the baby and the shop with this sweet is there to our day ...
From Minatoya, Kyoto みなとや

. . . CLICK here for Photos of the sweets ! 

. kosodate yurei 子育て幽霊 Legends .

. The most popular candy vendors in Edo 飴売り .


External LINKS

Kyoto Foodie : Sweets

Reference : Kyoto Sweets

Worldwide use

Süßigkeiten aus Kyoto

Things found on the way


Related words

Dishes from Kyoto, Kyoto Cuisine (Kyoo no ryoori)

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes

***** WAGASHI ... Sweets SAIJIKI


- #kyoto #sweets -


Gabi Greve - WKD said...

Imamiya 今宮 Imamiya branch shrines
bunshi 分祀 - 分祠, bunsha 分社 "branch shrine"
niimiya, shinguu  新宮 "new shrine"

Imamiya Jinja 今宮神社
Kyoto - 京都市北区紫野今宮町

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Tokugawa Iemitsu 徳川家光 Third Shogun
sometimes spelled Iyemitsu, Iyémitsŭ,

(August 12, 1604 – June 8, 1651)