1. Perfect Souvenirs! What You Should Buy in Kyoto Part 1

Perfect Souvenirs! What You Should Buy in Kyoto Part 1

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Hello everyone!



“Useful information for travelers to Kyoto” edition 3 is about recommended souvenirs in Kyoto.


Have you ever had this kind of thoughts before. . . ?


”What should I pick from lots of choices as souvenirs?”

“I want to something very Kyoto for my family and friends!”


This article is for those travelers to solve the worries.


What I would like you to know is . . .



“Nama Yatsuhashi with Red Bean Jam”!



“Wait, is this just called ‘Yatsuhashi’, isn’t it?”

I guess many of you think like that.


Even Japanese misunderstand the name of the sweet.

There actually are three kinds of sweets called “Yatsuhashi” by people.



This is originally named Nama Yatsuhashi with red bean jam, not just Yatsuhashi.


Then, where is a right “Yatsuhashi” and what is it?


I’ll introduce the three kinds of Yatsuhashi today:



②Nama Yatsuhashi

③Nama Yatsuhashi with red bean jam


However, I didn’t have them with me, so let me get them at first.






<Go shopping>



Now we’re going to get them.


We’re heading to for the souvenir store, Four Seasons of Kyo.




After waling for 20 minutes, we found the store.



The biggest sign is Maiko san in front of the store!



The maiko figure moves her head up and down to welcome guests.







Taking a picture with her as today’s memory.



She is a lovely maiko, so have a photo taken with her when you visit the store.


Aside to that, her name is Otabe chan. She is the second-generation otabe chan.


As I mentioned, I bought

① Yatsuhashi

② Nama Yatsuhashi

③ Nama Yatsuhashi with red bean jam






My photographer is so in love with maiko, so she just continued taking pictures of otabe chan.



Yay, got them!


Let’s go back to our office.







<Taste Them>

Arrived at the office and let me taste them to find the differences.


They look like,



Opening them one by one.





Firstly, this is an original Yatsuhashi.



The color is brown and it has an unique shape. The taste is Nikki like cinnamon.


Here is a question.



What is the model of this shape ?


① Japanese Roof Tile




② Japanese Harp




③ Bridge










The answer is . . .




② Japanese Harp





Now I show you how to eat Yatsuhashi.



① Take one from a big package




② Open it




③ Take Yatsuhashi




④ hold in your mouth




⑤ Taste it






It is very crispy, so it makes sounds when you chew it.

It isn’t really sweet, so it’s good for those who don’t like too sweet foods.


Staff N also tried it with me.



Staff N, “I like the sounds coming from it! “






This is Nama Yatsuhashi.



It’s very soft and mochi-like sweet.

The color is very similar to Yatsuhashi I just introduced. The reason is Yatsuhashi is made of Nama  (row) Yatsuhashi!


Now I introduce how to eat Nama Yatsuhashi.




① Take plastic package from a box




② Open the package




③ Take one Nama Yatsuhashi




④ Hold it in your mouth




⑤ Taste it






It’s just like omochi or  rice cake. It’s simply made, so you can taste original Nikki taste.



Staff N also tried it after me.



Staff N, “I can taste Nikki really well!”






Now let’s move onto the last one, Nama Yatsuhashi with red bean jam.



As I said in the beginning, this is not Yatsuhashi.


Red beam jam is sandwiched by Nama Yatsuhashi.



Why is it shaped a triangle? It’s because that it’s easy to eat for everyone.


How to eat it?




① Open a package




② Take one




④ Hold it in your mouth




⑤ Taste it







Yes, this is the most famous souvenir of Kyoto.
The combination of nikki and red bean jam is perfect.



Staff N,  “I would explain the taste like it is elegant sweet”.





Nowadays, Nama Yatsuhashi with red bean jam is one of the most popular souvenirs in Kyoto.

It has become a synonym for “Yatsuhashi” recently.



So, if you ask a shop person to give Yatsuhashi, they will provide you with this.






<What You Should Choose?>


For sweet lovers

⇒ Nama Yatsuhashi with red bean jam





Like sweet one, but don’t like red bean jam

⇒ Nama Yatsuhashi





Not a big fan of too sweet foods

⇒ Yatsuhashi







<Yatsuhashi Making Tour>


In Kyoto, there is a tour that you can experience to make Yatsuhashi.


・About Yatsuhashi Making Tour

You can experience to make a triangle sweet Yatsuhashi by just using “home-made” bean jam, homemade powdered Koshihikari’s rice flour and baby cloth.


For more information, please visit the official website of Yatsuhashi tour


※written only in Japanese



・About Yatsuhashi Factory Tour

You are able to see the process to make Yatsuhashi in the factory. The factory staff will explain you about materials of Yatsuhashi and also the history of Yatsuhashi. After the factory tour, you can taste fresh Yatsuhashi as much as you want. It’s free admission.



※written only in Japanese



Would you like to experience those tours on your trip?





おたべ ホームページ http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/index_en.html

おたべ手作り体験道場 http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/taiken/taiken_info.html

おたべ小路工場見学 http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/2013_new/kouji.html

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