Things to do in Kyoto

Japanese traditional sweets: wagashi和菓子

In Japan, sweets are distinguished into two types, the Yogashi and Wagashi. Yogashi are your ordinary western sweets that have been introduced to Japan. Wagashi on the other hand, are traditional sweets that are originally made in Japan.

Wagashi (和菓子) are traditional Japanese sweets that are typically enjoyed in combination with a cup of green tea. They are made in a wide variety of shapes and consistencies and with diverse ingredients and preparation methods. Some are popular across the country and around the year while others are only available regionally or seasonally.

Sweet azuki bean paste (anko) is a central ingredient in a large number of Japanese sweets. Boiled azuki beans are sweetened with sugar and mashed to create either smooth anko (koshian) or chunky anko (tsubuan). Other common ingredients for wagashi include rice cakes(mochi), rice flour, Japanese agar (kanten), sesame paste and chestnuts.

Below are some of the most common wagashi types that tourists are likely to encounter:

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