Kyoto has a large collection of shops that sell sweets, and out of the many shops, here is a list of 7 traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi) that you can buy in Kyoto. There are a lot of seasonal limited edition sweets that are definitely worth trying if you ever visit the Kyoto area.
These sweets are bonbons with molasses. They come in three different types with adorable decorations on them that feature three-story pagodas, shrine gates, and red leaves.
These dry sweets are shaped like chrysanthemums and melt as soon as you pop them into your mouth. In the fall season, the kikujuto come in limited edition pastel colors, representing the colors of the leaves in the fall.
Available at Kagizen.
Another confection to buy at Kagizen is the Utsuroi. Every time you visit this shop, a different type of Utsuroi will be available for you to try. The reason is that every month, these unique rakugans (a dry confection made of starch and sugar) have their appearances changed by the confectioners. One month they may be light blue with a thin strip of white at the top, which is reminiscent of the summer sky while during another month they may be depicting a mountain scene.
The three colors of these rice dumplings represent the various faces of the spring and fall of Kyoto. The special made roasted soy bean flour and syrup go perfectly with the rice dumplings, making this an excellent companion not only for Japanese green tea, but for coffee as well.
Available at Mamemasa.
This is my personal favorite type of sweet to buy when I go to Kyoto (or when anyone I know goes to Kyoto I practically beg them to buy me a box). These are basically spread out rice dumplings with red bean paste. They are also available in various flavors from matcha to strawberry to chocolate banana. They just have the perfect amount of chewy-ness and go perfectly with green tea.
Available here as well as various locations around Kyoto.
These matcha flavored baumkuchens are made from Uji-matcha (one of the best types of matcha tea there is) blended with middle-grade green tea and layered with a soy milk sponge cake made in Kyoto.
These customizable sweets come with wafers, red bean paste, and mascarpone cheese cream. You have the freedom to put in whichever filling (or both) you would like and find your own favorite combination of the two. You may find that red bean paste and mascarpone cheese cream make a surprisingly delicious combination.
This list of sweets, of course, does not even begin to cover the amazing culture of Kyoto, but this is a collection of sweets that are definitely worth trying. I hope this list of traditional wagashi sweets helps if you are ever in Kyoto wondering what to buy as a snack or as a souvenir from your visit!