Konpeito: Traditional Wagashi Sweet from Kyoto
“Wagashi (和菓子)” is the word for traditional Japanese sweets and comes in many different varieties.
The representative type includes “Manju (饅頭)“, “Yokan (羊羹)“, and “Dorayaki (どら焼き)“, all of which are made with sweet Azuki red bean paste called “Anko (餡子)”.
Anko has a black color and is an essential ingredient for Wagashi treats. But Wagashi is also available in colorful colors, and the quintessential example is “Konpeito (金平糖)”.
Konpeito is a traditional Japanese sweet made from sugar. The confection has about 400 years of history and comes in beautiful bright colors.
Konpeito is characterized by its eye-catching colorful appearance with tiny bulges and is especially popular with children.
The making of Konpeito traditionally requires much time and labor, and it is said that forming its unique shape takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
In modern times, the sugar candy comes in many varieties and flavors and has gained popularity even outside of Japan.
Ryokujuan Shimizu in Kyoto
Image: Hatenablog Otaku-son
When it comes to the maker, “Ryokujuan Shimizu (緑寿庵清水)”, founded in 1847 in Kyoto, is the only confectionery shop that specializes in Konpeito.
Therefore, if you are interested in Konpeito and have a plan to do sightseeing in Kyoto City, Ryokujuan Shimizu is a must-visit for you.
Also, I think their Konpeito candies are an ideal souvenir for tourists to Kyoto.
Shop Information: Ryokujuan Shimizu (緑寿庵清水)
- Address: 38-2 Yoshida-Izumidono-Cho, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture (MAP)
- Open: 10:00 to 17:00
- Closed: Wednesdays
How to Enjoy
Konpeito is eaten as it is, but the confection is sometimes used as a substitute for sugar, as it’s essentially sugar.
Unlike white sugar powder, Konpeito is beautiful to the eye. So some people like to serve coffee or black tea with these sugar candies when they have guests.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 金平糖 )