This shop is one of the local’s secret gem, it is a this traditional Japanese confectionery and sweets store. It has the old-fashion exterior that matches their offerings. It is kind of interesting to see this type of building surrounded by more modern apartment complexes.
Inside it nice and large, with so many different kind of old-fashion Japanese sweets, sold both individually and in a gift box set. This is a great spot to get a gift for someone who enjoys and appreciate Japanese sweets.
The items are perfectly organized, makes it easy to check each offerings until you find the items you want. I think they do a great job at displaying the items, nice colors and design throughout the store. The staffs here are very polite and courteous. They don’t come and bother you unless you need their assistance.
They have really cute snacks, with adorable wrapping or shapes. I always liked the little peanut guys. They are fun to look at, and makes a great gift too. If they don’t already have a gift box with the items you want, you can always customize the gift box with only the items you want right at the store.
They also have seasonal sweets. We visited when they are celebrating Otukimi, which is a Japanese festival for moon viewing around the mid-Autumn. It is to honor the autumn harvest moon, and celebration of the full moon. It is said that the shadows on the moon seen from Japan looks like a rabbit with mortar, making mochi on the moon. Japanese people eat round tsukimi dango that looks like the full moon during the festival, and rabbit is depicted often with Tsukimi graphics. They had tsukimi dango here, in a cute package. They also had a very interesting sweet with a horse, moon and a star. This one said that it is a lucky snack. We didn’t try this one but it was unique indeed.
They have more than small snacks. You can order them to make a very traditional looking square cake for a wedding celebration. They also sell festive red rice, cooked with red azuki beans and mochi rice.
Even though everything that I have ever tasted from this store has been awesome, you still wonder what some of the sweets taste like. The good thing is that they have several samples in the store, so you can try them out before you buy them.
So, what is the big “secret gem” about this place? Well, this place is also a self-serving café with free drinks!!! You heard me right. With a purchase of their sweets, you can have them right there at their well-lit table, with tea or coffee on the house. How awesome is that?
They have green tea, coffee, and oolong tea, both hot and cold. How kind! So you can get a cold drink on a hot day, and hot drink on a cool or cold day.
They have cream, regular and liquid sugar, stir stick and even a wet towels to clean your hands before you have their decadent sweets. And what’s more? They even have reading glasses for your relaxation, if you want to do some reading with your tea and sweets. As most of the customers are…well, not the young teenagers.
We selected several sweets, paid at the counter, and took our seat. First sweet of choice was Sweet Potato (140 yen). It is like a small, fluffy sweet potato muffin-cake. With such common household. comfy ingredients like sweet potato, they created a very elegant and sophisticated sweet.
It was moist and dense, very home-y and comfy flavor. Sweet with natural sweet potato flavor. Perfect with a cup of hot green tea!
We also got three kinds of Dorayaki (160 yen/each). They have very high quality ones here, and we chose matcha, azuki and apple. Dorayaki is an old fashion Japanese snack. It is traditionally made with two small pancake sandwiching sweet azuki bean paste in the middle. Here they do with cream. Much better!
Here is the Matcha Dorayaki, and look at this, perfection! Round, fluffy, airy and light. So different from the ones you can get from supermarket or convenient store. Much higher quality here!
Creamy, milky, smooth matcha cream with azuki beans are sandwiched between the fluffy pancakes, and they were great!
Then the Azuki Dorayaki. Again, they use the cream filling here, instead of azuki bean paste. I do like the traditional dorayaki with the sweet bean paste, but when they can be elevated to an elegant dorayaki with whipped cream filling, I love it!
It has azuki bean infused whipped cream, with azuki beans in it. The cream has pretty lavender color from the beans, and great sweet flavor of the azuki bean, which was made softer with the cream. Awesome!
The last one is an Apple Dorayaki. I was not sure what it was going to be like, but after one bite, I was in love. It had chunks of apples in the cream! They turned an old-fashion Japanese into something more modern and Western. It worked really well with the fluffy pancakes, and yes, this one I liked it best with a nice hot cup of coffee.
They even have a public restroom, so you can really enjoy some relaxing time here, with a good company or a good book. We had a very nice afternoon snack here, excellent in quality and flavor, and with free drinks just makes it to the next level! We all need a little break in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee with a sweet snack, right? I love my tea time in the afternoon, and this was the perfect spot that provides relaxing space. Thank you!
Nagomino Yoneya – 276-116 Toyofuta, Kashiwa, Chiba Japan