Umegae Mochi @ Kasanoya, Dazaifu, Fukuoka
Hello everyone, long time no see! Sorry for the unannounced hiatus. As mentioned in the Facebook page for the blog, I had to deal with a few personal stuff. Mainly moving to a new house. I am still in Fukuoka for the time being. It is very possible that I will be in another part of Japan in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, why not explore more local treats while we are still at it?
Classic shopping street feels
It sometimes amazes me that Fukuoka does not get the attention it deserves. This becomes more evident when I lived here for almost an entire year. There are so many historically significant and beautiful sights that are worth looking. Some can even make you feel like you are in the sacred temples of Kyoto or the back alleys of Osaka. Dazaifu is one such place.
With a majestic Tenmagu shrine located in the center of this town, it has everything you want in a medieval Japanese town. Shopping streets, street food, grand shrines and even a Starbucks designed to compliment its surroundings. And speaking of street food, there are loads to choose from. However, the main confection of this region is umegae mochi.
Turning up the heat! The front kitchen of Kasanoya
Umegae is a type of mochi cake filled with adzuki beans. Sounds basic enough, but the charm here is that it is grilled rather than the usual hand rolled ones you might see in Sensoji or Ninenzaka. This treat is for sure a local specialty. There are many shops that sells this grilled mochi, but the most popular and the best tasting according to locals is Kasanoya. Kasanoya is a restaurant that sells classic Japanese meals like rice bowls and set meals. Its claim to fame is however, these chewy and sweet delights. Hundreds of these morsels come out from this shop on a daily basis piping hot.
The outer crust is chewy and yet slightly crispy on the outside. The inside is the classic adzuki bean paste that you get in most Japanese desserts. The warm filling was a bit hard to eat, especially if you do not want to burn your lips. So I suggest eating it slowly. But this is a good thing to some extent, as it forces you to take your time to enjoy what you are having. And enjoying you will. There is something about the different textures all rolled into one sweet treat. And to top it all off this was for a mere 110 yen a piece.
Of course, Dazaifu is not just about hot chewy mochi. There are a lot of classic and modern shops littered around this place. And if you are a museum buff, the regional Kyushu National Museum is located within the vicinity. Also, not to mention the previously highlighted Tenmagu shrine. That shrine is absolutely stunning and worth the visit alone.
The stunning museum.
And in terms of food, let say there will be a few more posts awaiting pertaining to Dazaifu. But in the meantime, if you would like to get hold on an umegae, the address of Kasanoya is as follows:
2 Chome-7-24 Saifu, Dazaifu, Fukuoka 818-0117
Front of the house.