Now if you head to Miyajima (an island off of the coast of Hiroshima and home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Itsukushima Shrine), do not fail to try “Age-Momiji Manju”! The Itsukushima Shrine is known for its “floating-torii” gate which appears only when the ocean is elevated. Thanks to the Itsukushima Shrine the entirety of Itukushima (or Miyajima) has become a very popular tourist site.
Momiji-manjus have been sold at Miyajima for 100 years and have grown very popular as Miyajima became a worldly known tourist spot. Momiji-majus are small cakes filled with mashed sweet bean paste. They are shaped after maple tree leaves.
In addition to the original sweet bean paste, many varieties of fillings have become available over the years, such as chocolate cream, cheese cream, custard cream, matcha cream, and almond cream.
If you thought that normal momiji-manjus were good, you will absolutely LOVE the age-momiji manju. They are basically momiji-manjus fried on a stick. They come in three types of paste, red bean paste, cream paste and cheese paste and each one costs somewhere between 130 to 180 yen. It is a bit odd but it is a tourist location so they will be selling the (mostly) same product for different prices. Some of the stores sell age-momiji manju parfaits that are also extremely delicious.
When I went to Miyajima, my friends and I bought the age-momiji manju on the way to the shrine, and once again on the way back from the shrine to the ferry docks because we all loved them so much. The thing is that you can only buy the age-momiji manjus at Miyajima. You can not buy these online like the normal momiji manjus. If you ever visit Miyajima and the Itukushima Shrine, I HIGHLY recommend buying one (or two or three or however many really) of these age-momiji manjus and eating them on your walk to the World Heritage Site shrine.