Facebook icon

Enjoying Traditional Japanese Sweets in Kyoto

Posted By on Nov 6, 2013

Share

 

Arashiyama is a bit of a romantic destination and it’s a great example of picture-perfect, traditional Japan. You’ll often see people dressed in kimono walking through the small alleyways and rickshaws running past carrying customers.

While there are a few temples and other points of interest, such as the Bamboo Grove, what I love most about Arashiyama are all of its small shops. The main road is lined with small, family-run stores, all which add a certain charm to the city.

Small boutique stores, souvenir shops and plenty of delicious restaurants- Arashiyama has it all. One of my favorite things to do while in Arashiyama is to spend the day browsing the stores, followed by sitting down to enjoy delicious traditional sweets.

Most shops may only seat around 10 people, but if you arrive later in the evening, you should have no problem getting a seat.

DSC08638web

Upon sitting down we were given a few minutes to look over the menus, but we had already made our choices. I ordered anmitsu (あんみつ), a very popular, traditional dessert.

It is made of small cubes of agar jelly, a white translucent jelly made from red algae or seaweed. It is served in a bowl with sweet azuki bean paste or anko (the “an” part of anmitsu), mochi balls, and a variety of fruits such as peach slices, oranges, lemons, and cherries.

The anmitsu usually comes with a small pot of sweet syrup, like honey, called mitsu (which refers to the “mitsu” part of anmitsu), which is poured onto the jelly before eating.

For more modern variations, ice cream is often added to the top! My order, picture below, did come with a scoop of cherry ice cream. Delicious!

DSC08636web

There are a few different variations of anmitsu, with different ingredients being used. The original dessert is actually called mitsumame, which has beans mixed in. Another friend who was with us at the restaurant ordered mitsumame, which had kinako, soy bean powder, mixed in his.

The jelly in my dessert was served in the form of long noodles, whereas his were the more traditional cubes of jelly.

296590_10150345953457615_331413299_n

 

Of course no traditional sweets are complete without a cup of matcha, green tea. As we finished our desserts, the waitress brought our tea out. The temperature and consistency of the tea was perfect, a great way to end our dessert session.

DSC08634web

 

While there are many popular Westernized desserts in Japan like parfaits and ice cream sundaes, be sure to try some traditional Japanese desserts as well! Although they might look or sound weird, they’re delicious in their own way.

[post by Beth]

Search Cheap Airfare to Japan by JTB USA

Japan Rail Pass  The Best Way to Travel in Japan

Explore Japan’s top destinations with the help of JTB Sunrise Tours

 

Beth Williams

Originally from Chicago, Beth got her first true taste of travel when she studied abroad in Japan during her final year of university. She ended up loving Asia so much, she found herself moving right back upon graduating and is currently teaching English full-time in Hong Kong. Armed with her camera and a passion for travel, she is currently on a mission to photograph the world-- proving that you can work the normal “9-5” and still find time to travel on her blog Besudesu Abroad.

Related posts:

'Tezuka Osamu', a very well-known cartoonist for his works such as 'Astro Boy', 'Jungle Emperor' and...
One Day in: Kyoto
Three Reasons to Visit Niigata
The Biggest Samurai Castle IN THE WORLD!-HIMEJI CASTLE
A Magical Escape In The Heart of Kanazawa- KENROKU-EN GARDEN
Meet "Sensoji," the Oldest Temple in Tokyo
Celebrate Love at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, Kamakura; Learn the Japanese Traditional Wedding Ceremony
THE PRINCE GALLERY, The Newest 5 star Hotel in Tokyo
"Fly for Free with JTB" Hokkaido Shiretoko Campaign, Tell us what you would like to do in...

Slider by webdesign