We usually have the first tea ceremony around January 10th every year. My master, who is over 80 years old also hold New Year’s tea ceremony for us in 11th this year.
I’m really looking forward to joining every year. For the people learning tea ceremony, it’s the happy New Year’s event as well as the start of the class.
For this New Year’s ceremony, the sweet we have is decided. It’s “Hanabira mochi”. Hanabira means a petal, and mochi means rice cake.
The origin goes back to the event of imperial palace
Although some sweet shops change the ingredient by the area of Japan, this is made of Gyuhi (type of soft Japanese confectionery made with rice flour), sweet boiled burdock, and white miso.
The origin goes back to the ritual in the imperial palace to wish longevity, having been held since Heian period (794-1192). Pile a red rice cake on the white one, and put white radish, boar meat, souse Ayu(fish) and gourds etc. This traditional meal was simplified into Hanabira rice cake.
In Meiji period (1868-1912), the 11th grand master of Urasenke tea ceremony, Gengensai asked Kawabata Doki to make this sweets. Kawabata Doki had been making and bringing the meal and sweets to the imperial palace. So, the original Hanabira mochi was made by Kawabata Doki, from which it spread into north and south in Japan.
This Hanabira rice cake on the picture is made by Tawaraya Yoshitoomi in Muromachi Kamidachiuri in Kyoto.
They have the advertisement written by calligraphy on the window in the New Year. The decoration made of pine trees besides the front door is also for the New Year. These decorations are thought to be the sign to welcome New Year’s god.
I served Hanabira mochi and Matcha in my parents’s house. My mother also said it was great!
Entering the gate, their Japanese garden with stone water basin had calm atmosphere. Of course, they have many other kinds of fresh sweets and Japanese cookies (dried sweets) inside. If you ask, you can buy from just one.
Tawaraya Yoshitomi main store
Business hour 8am-5pm
Regular holidays : Sundays
URL ： http://www.kyogashi.co.jp
Kyoto Sweet’s Museum
There is a Karasuma brunch near the main store of Tawaraya Yoshitomi. Maybe Karasuma is more standing out than main store because it’s on the big street, Karasuma and it has Doshisha University on the front.
Since it has large space, a big tour group also be able to enjoy because it has wide space.
In addition, Karasuma brunch has Kyoto Sweet’s Museum beside. They have old precious books designs of Japanese confectionaries are described. We can learn the history of Japanese traditional sweets here. And it’s interesting and enjoyable just to look at their beautiful colors and seasonal designs.
Now, they hold the special exhibition of Japanese sweets made of candy. The last day is March 28th in 2016. We can improve the sense of Japanese beauty here!
Kyoto Sweets Museum (Kyo-gashi shiryo-kan)
〒602-0021 Kamidachiuri Shari Karasuma-dori Kamigyo-ku Kyoto
TEL ： 075-432-3101
URL ： http://www.kyogashi.co.jp/shiryokan/
Regular holidays: Wednesdays