A few steps from where I was staying I passed a local wagashi maker and could not resist his beautiful and delicious sweets.

While strolling down Sanneizaka one day, I came upon this candy maker whose beautiful shop features the wonderful images of Beans and Monkeys by the noted artist Hideki Kimura.

One of the delights of a walk in fall in Arashiyama, heading up to Toriimoto, was coming upon this husband and wife selling their seasonal candies. One woman was buying them as souvenirs to take back to family in Hawaii.

On the pottery walk in the Kiyomizu district with Deepest Kyoto, we came upon in the Ghost Candy shop, considered the oldest shop in Kyoto.  

Tawaraya Yoshitomi

This is one of the most established Japanese sweet shops originating in the mid-Edo period (1600-1868).  In 2006, they opened a tiny Japanese café with only 8 seats in one of their branch shops on Ogawa Street.  Take the entrance on the right of the shop to reach the modern café with terrace seats behind the shop along a graveled narrow approach.  It is like a small Japanese hideout.  Tawaraya’s homemade sweets are of course all authentic produced with the pride of this honored Japanese sweet shop in Kyoto.  Matcha green tea and sweet set, anmitsu (jelly and fruits topped with sweet red bean paste) with three different kinds of syrups and freshly pounded rice cakes are especially popular.

Shogoin Yatsuhashi

Since the Edo Period, this famous Japanese confectionery shop, located on the corner of Marutamachi and Higashi Oji, has been selling yatsuhashi – a curved, cinnamon-flavored biscuit-like sweet that resembles the bridge of a koto. Indeed yatsuhashi is named after Kengyo Yatsuhashi (1614-1685), a famous koto musician.

Unbaked yatsuhashi sweets called hijiri were brought out by the company in the 1960s and are Azuki red bean paste inside a jelly-like pounded-rice flour dough. Both types of sweet are popular souvenirs from Kyoto.

Ameizaiku is one of the traditional Japanese crafts: