Learn about the history of traditional Japanese confections
The Kyoto confectionery museum is located to the west of Kyoto Imperial Palace, and you can learn about the historical transition of Japanese sweets through their exhibitions. According to the chronicles of Japan, Japanese sweets were originally made primarily from nuts and fruits. However, in the Nara period (710-794), tenshin (Chinese sweets) were imported from China and castella, conpei-to (sugar candy), and more were important from Portugal to Japan in 1546. Confections in Japan become what is known as Japanese sweets or wagashi during the Edo period. Inside the museum, there are some old confectionery molds exhibited with replicas of sweets from each period. These are part of the founder of the museum’s a collection. Even though the exhibition guides are not in English, you can still enjoy historical Kyoto sweets, as the museum offers Japanese tea with wagashi for ￥700. Because there is no entrance fee, why not try them!
Inspect the Wagashi Molds
The old-fashioned Mt. Fuji shaped wooden molds are very cool. There are a wide range of molds with patterns such as, seasonal flowers, family emblems, and more in the museum. The shapes vary slightly depending on the period. Compare them with each other to notice the little details.
Nara Period Wagashi Replica
These sweets were originally from China and were made from fried or boiled flour or grain. The Japanese missionary called Kento-shi, who studied Chinese culture, to this recipe back to Japan and sold the sweets. This cooking method had a huge impact on the Japanese sweet culture at the time. Hence why these sweets are dedicated at a lot of temples and shrines for events even now.
This entire flower arrangement is surprisingly made out of sugar. It was made for a sweets competition which is held once every 4 years. Even when you look at it closely, you can’t tell that it’s all made of sugar. The next competition will be held in 2017 in Mie prefecture and artisans have been trying to come up with goods idea for it!
Take a Rest in the Tea Room
The museum offers Japanese tea with wagashi for ￥700. You can choose one of three sweets. One of them is called Unryu (dragon in the clouds) as the head monk at Shokoku-ji Temple asked the museum to make an original sweet with an image of the temple. As a result, they made this sweet, which was created with the motif of a dragon painting that can be seen at the temple. There are two other flavors that change seasonally. As the entrance fee is free, why not try one of these sweets instead?
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
Please do not take any photo of the exhibitions.
3.5 experience3.5 access3.5 photogenic3.5
Kyoto Confectionery Museum / 京菓子資料館
|Category||Museums & Galleries|
|Address||331-2, Yanaginozushicho, Kamigyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 602-0021|
|Directions||3-minute walk from Subway Imadegawa Stn (Exit 2)|
|Open Hours||10am - 5pm|
Japanese tea with wagashi ￥700
|Credit cards||Not accepted|
English brochures are available for free. It is located on the west side of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Easy to access.
|Information||Japanese and English|
|Lanuages spoken||Japanese only|