Toraya is a purveyor to the Imperial Family and its rich history can be dated back to the 1600s. The signature item at Toraya is the yokan cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves. This is considered one of the top shops for wagashi, in particular, the yokan. The yokan comes in several flavors including azuki, mattcha, and the kokuto has a rich, deep flavor. Toraya has outlets in most depachika. The main shop is in Akasaka with an eat-in space. The recommended dish is anmitsu.
This gorgeous shop in Ginza has a retail shop on the first floor and a café on the second floor. In the summertime you can cool down with a kakigori (shaved ice sweets).
Chuo-ku, Ginza 7-8-6
9:30 – 20:30, Monday – Saturday
9:30 – 19:30, Sunday and holidays
Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-1-4 中央区日本橋人形町2-1-4
Tel. 0120-48-0400 (toll free number in Japan)
9:00 – 21:00, closed Sunday
This 5th generation shop is so small that only a handful of people can enter at one time. The three-story gray building with red trimming displays some of their confectionaries behind glass display windows up front. The unmistakable aroma of cinnamon wafts into the street. Their signature sweet, koganei imo, is shiroan (white bean paste), egg yolk, and sugar dusted with cinnamon and baked. Order one of these and the staff will serve it to you with a cup of tea.
Shigemori Eishindou in Ningyocho 人形町の重盛永信堂
Shigemori Eishindou 重盛永信堂
Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-1-1 中央区日本橋人形町2-1-1
9:00 – 20:00 (Saturday and holidays until 17:30)
Commanding the corner with its large display of stuffed cakes and sweet crackers is Shigemori Eishindou. It opened in 1917 as a shop selling ningyoyaki of shichifukujin (the seven lucky gods). The azuki paste in the ningyoyaki cakes are rich, sweet and the cake is chewy. If you look behind the counter you can see the work space in back is where the ningyoyaki are made.
Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 2-10 新宿区神楽坂2-10
10:00 – 20:00 (Sundays and holidays until 19:00)
This tiny wagashi sweets shop has items based on with imo (sweet potatoes) and kuri (chestnuts). There are also some classic sweets including yokan and dango. In the summertime pick up a purple sweet potato soft cream.
Window Shopping at Kinozen
The ever-present line at Kinozen
Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 1-12 新宿区神楽坂1-12
11:00 – 21:00, Monday – Saturday
12:00 – 18:00, Sunday & holidays
Closed the 3rd Sunday of each month
Kinozen is one of the cities popular kanmidokoro. Located just next door to Fujiya, Kinozen too often has a line out the front door. Their signature dish is a modern mattcha babaloa. The babaloa made from Uji mattcha is delicate with tsubuan (chunky azuki) and whipped cream is a nice ensemble of flavors and textures. The kakigori in the summer of shaved ice colored with flavored syrups are irresistible and offer a respite from the heat and humidity. There is also a selection of items to go, including the mattcha babaloa.