Sunday, January 24, 2016

あんみつ Anmitsu, 羊羹 Yokan, 抹茶 Matcha, and 最中 Monaka Souvenirs at 虎屋 Toraya, Kyoto JAPAN

Seasonal Yokan served with Matcha
Anmitsu Dessert - fruits, flavored jelly, red bean paste, and syrup
During my stay in Kyoto, I visited a traditional Japanese dessert cafe (the tea ceremony) for the first time. The place is called 虎屋菓寮 TORAYA Confectionery Cafe. (meaning tiger) They served traditional dessert such as 羊羹 Yokan (Bean Paste Block) and "Anmitsu," which consists of fruits, agar jelly, sweet azuki paste, and sweet syrup. 

After dessert at the cafe, I bought some souvenirs at the shop too. The yokan block I got is beautiful and huge! As you can see below, the texture of pink, black, and whole bean makes it really appetizing to enjoy with a cup of hot tea right away! :)

Yokan Souvenir 
TORAYA 虎屋 (TORA means tiger, and YA means house) started their very first sweets making in the 16th century. As the location is right next to the Imperial Palace, they were serving the Kyoto Imperial Courts since then. By the late 17th century, TORAYA had became a well known confectionery maker to feudal lords in many provinces

Front Entrance

Interior Seating
Interior Book shelves & Seating
The time I went was only 3 something, but the sky is already really gloomy and dark. (Winter time) The interior of the cafe looks like a library, which you can learn more about wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets, tea, and how it's made from reading and asking staffs. 

For seating, there are indoor and outdoor areas. Unfortunately, it was too cold and dark outside that my camera couldn't capture much. T_T

I highly recommend to come to this cafe during daytime and a warmer season to sit outdoor! They have a really nice garden outside that is perfect for enjoying tea and sweets! :) Check out daytime photos at HERE!

Pouring sweet syrup into Anmitsu
The dessert I ordered was Anmitsu, which is consisted of seasonal fruits, agar jelly, sweet azuki paste, 求肥 gyuhi (soft mochi), and sweet syrup. Before eating, pour the syrup and enjoy dessert. 

Seasonal Yokan with Matcha
Red Azuki bean yokan

とらや 京都一条店 TORAYA Kyoto Shop

The shop is located only around the corner. It is their souvenir shop with more variety of seasonal yokan and other wagashi. 

For this winter, one of their seasonal yokan(s) is called "Winter Flower." It has a combination of pink, black, and white color. It is a huge block of yokan, I would say it is around 4-6 serving for each block. Once you cut a slice of the yokan block, you will realized how beautiful the texture is!! 

Seasonal Yokan, "Winter Flower" 
A slice of "Winter Flower" Yokan 
Next, I bought some 最中Monaka, it is a crisp wafer sandwich with azuki filling. There are three types I have here: 
  1. Pink sakura shaped wafer with white azuki bean paste filling
  2. White sakura shaped wafer with smooth azuki bean paste filling
  3. brown wafer with whole azuki bean filling
Lastly, I have a sweet potato yokan. It is packaged like a Japanese curry pack. Before serving, microwave it for maybe 15-30 seconds. When it is warmed, the yokan is moist and soft. The texture is smooth, and the sweet potato flavor is addicting!

Sweet Potato Yokan
Sweet Potato Yokan
虎屋菓寮 京都一条店 TORAYA Confectionery Cafe

Phone:+81 75-441-3113
Daily 10am - 4pm

とらや 京都一条店 TORAYA Kyoto Shop

Phone:+81 75-441-3111
Daily 9am - 6pm

Other locations:


  1. What a lovely experience. I look forward to visiting.

  2. OK thi Pouring sweet syrup into Anmitsu picture is making go outside to buy anything, I think because of you I will be getting fat :P

  3. The food is so colourful and it looks amazing!

  4. Would love to visit Kyoto one day to experience traditional Japan !

  5. This looks like my kinda restaurant. I wanna try EVERYTHING!