Kyoto's Traditional Sweet Shop in the Heart of the Renowned Geisha District
Along the main thoroughfare which connects Kyoto’s geisha district Gion with the central Kamo River, lies an unassuming space that from its facade, is puzzlingly-undistinguishable. With a deep red noren curtain that gently moves with a gust of wind, it’s front facade presents a gallery-like timber frame as platform area fitting for an ikebana flower display. Yet as we are in Kyoto, the home of Kyogashi (traditional Kyoto sweets), such display areas are common shopfronts for high-end wagashi-ya manufacturers of traditional confectionary and sweets. At Kagizen Yoshifusa, their hand-crafted sugar-based creations are presented daily in the front window akin to art. Both as a reflection of their seasonal offerings, but to showcase their excellence in the art of Japanese traditional sweets.
Established during the mid-Edo period around 1726, their recipes have been passed on from earlier generations and continue to be created by hand in utmost craftsmanship. Find neighbouring tea masters and tea connoisseurs utilising their sweets for tea ceremonies, in addition to the adjacent working women of the Hanamachi geisha district.
With a serene tea salon at the store’s rear, find a moment to enjoy their famed sweets with a view on an exterior garden. Enjoy the softest warabi-mochi you’ve ever tasted, alongside a freshly-prepared matcha green tea in bright chartreuse. In winter, the red bean-based soup oshiruko holds small balls of mochi, enough to warm any stomach on a snow-covered day.
264 Gionmachi Kitagawa,
Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan