Wagashi (和菓子) are traditional Japanese sweets that are usually enjoyed with a cup of warm green tea. There are many varieties, sizes, and flavors to choose from. Some are available all year round while some are only available during certain occasions. But wagashi are not just sweets; they are also considered an art form in Japan. With those qualities, wagashi have been a favorite of tourists not just for themselves, but also as souvenirs for their friends.
When in Tokyo (東京), you will be able to find many traditional Japanese sweets shops. In Kanda (神田), Tokyo, there is a popular sweets shop that has been serving delicious sweets for years and has withstood the test of time. Most recently in popular culture, this shop was used as inspiration for the house of an anime character. Get to know more about Takemura (竹むら) sweets shop in this article!
The Takemura Sweets Shop was established in 1930 and has been operating ever since. It has miraculously survived any wartime damage and the business is still proudly operating in its original building. Because of this, the building has been designated as a “place of historical importance”.
Along with the building, the menu the shop offers is still the same from the time it first opened. If you are not visiting for the food, then the architecture is another reason for you to visit this place!
In the anime Love Live! (ラブライブ!), Takemura was used as the inspiration for the house of the character Honoka Kousaka (高坂穂乃果). Because of the anime reference, numerous fans have already visited Takemura as a part of their anime pilgrimage.
If you decide to visit Takemura, be sure to try these four recommended sweet dishes!
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This dessert is the shop’s specialty and it is rarely found in other traditional sweets shops. Age-manju are steamed cakes that are coated in tempura batter and deep-fried. These are usually full of sweet filling, most commonly the red bean (anko; 餡子) filling.
Anmitsu is a kind of parfait, but Japanese-style. This dessert is made of cubes of agar jelly, some pieces of fruit, syrup, and is topped with a serving of red bean paste, which is considered an essential ingredient.
Along with this dessert is an extra serving of syrup for people who want their dessert to taste a little sweeter.
A warm bowl of shiruko (red bean soup) is perfect during a cold day in Tokyo. Takemura uses a very thick red bean paste that has just the right amount of sweetness to it. The red beans they use for this dessert is the same as the one in their anmitsu.
One of Takemura’s popular desserts during the summer is kuzu mochi. In this shop, the kuzu mochi are made from sweet potato starch, not from the actual kuzu root. It is shaped into triangular wedges and sprinkled with a generous amount of kinako (きな粉; the flour of roasted soybeans). It is also served with a black sugar Japanese syrup called kuromitsu (黒蜜).
When you visit Japan, you will see lots of cafes with modern or western sweets being offered. But if you would like to have a traditional Japanese experience, then a visit to this Japanese sweets shop is a must. I highly recommend that you visit Takemura on your next trip to Tokyo!
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