I dropped in the traditional sweets shop in Shijo Horikawa in Kyoto after visiting the travel company near Shijo area today.
Kameya Yoshinaga(亀屋良長) is the Kyoto’s sweets shop since 1803.
They are making the modern & pretty design Japanese cookies (dried sweets) and established the new brand of compromising taste between Japan and western style while they have been continued making the traditional sweets.
The traditional sweets using the special water “Samegai”
There is a special well called “Samegai” beside the shop. It’s one of the 3 special waters in Kyoto. It used to be Rokujo Horikawa area in Heian period (794-1185), and it’s famous that Murata Juko(1422-1502), the founder of tea ceremony used Samegai water to serve Ashikaga Yoshimasa(1449-1473), the strongest samurai in those days (Muromachi period).
Actually, Kameya Yoshinaga re-sank this traditional well in 1991 to use for their delicious Japanese sweets.
Such special Kyoto water is used for their flagship sweets “Ubadama”, the smooth bean paste made of special black sugar from Hateruma iland in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture in Japan are covered with agar and poppy seeds on the top. Not only spring season but also we can enjoy Ubadama whole in the year.
Modern Japanese cookies for spring
Actually, Japanese cookies (dried sweets) made of sugar and rice powder are not very popular among young people in Japan.
We tend to have the image that it’s for tea ceremony mainly because it’s traditional sweets. But seeing Kameya Yoshinaga’s dried sweets, I felt it’s modern and pretty!
Not only the sweets but also the package is wonderful. Since the dried sweets last long, I recommend you to buy them as the souvenir.
There are some limited sweets for cherry blossom season. Sakura shaped Japanese cookies are packed with colorful Japanese candies.
They also provide dried sweets in the pouch called “treasures” made of cotton with Japanese patterns. We can choose the pouches from 5 kinds of patterns.
The fresh sweets for spring “Flower basket”
Today I bought fresh sweets called “flower basket”.
The pretty flowers are decollated on the top of the dough made of Japanese taro with the burnt mark of basket’s net. I think it’s beautiful and easy to explain what it is for foreign tourists.
Talking about my tea house KOTO, I’m using the fresh water container with a painting of the coach loading beautiful flowers now.
Putting this container, we can feel spring in a tea room.
Even though some foreign guests don’t get used to the sweet beans, they liked the beautiful looking of Japanese fresh sweets, which are necessary for Japanese tea ceremony to express the theme or season in the moment.
It’s worth trying!
address: 〒600-8498 17-19 Kashiwaya-cho Aburanokoji nishiiru Shijo-dori Shimogyo-ku Kyoto
Business hour: 9:00～18:00
Open whole in the year except Januray 1st and 2nd