Shinise (IV): Yagikashiho Yokan
As you enter this Shinise, you are greeted by a cozy and inviting ambience. The classic sliding doors unveil a space adorned with grace, where carefully arranged exhibits showcase artisanal treasures. Every display is meticulously curated, showcasing the finest craftsmanship that embodies the timeless values and communal essence of Japanese culture. Despite facing contemporary challenges, this Shinise persists in preserving traditions and upholding its enduring significance in Japanese society.
Yagikashiho Yokan - Founded in 1910
In the southern part of Hokkaido, along the central coast of Hidaka District in Hidaka Subprefecture, lies the sole town of Shin-Hidaka. In 2006, with the merger of Shizunai Town from Shiribeshi District and Mitsueki Town from Mitsuishi District (each of which consisted of only one town), Shin-Hidaka Town was formed, and Hidaka District was newly established. The southwestern region faces the Pacific Ocean, while the northeastern region is dominated by the majestic Hidaka Mountains, and the urban areas are spread around the mouth of the Shizunai River.
The present Hidaka Subprefecture, formerly known as the Hidaka Government, traces its origins back to Hidaka Province, which was established in 1869 during the Meiji Period. The name "Hidaka" is believed to have been derived from a description in the Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan) that reads, "Among the Eastern Barbarians, there is a province called Hidaka (omitted), all of which are called Ezo."
This region is famous for its high-quality rice, Hidaka kombu (seaweed), cod roe, ikura (salmon roe), new-maki salmon, kombu shochu (distilled liquor made from seaweed), kombu wine, and the original Sanmoku yokan (a type of sweet bean jelly). In addition, there are long-standing Japanese confectionery shops that have stood the test of time in this district.
Yagikashiho Tsukikusa Shoten, established in 1910 in Fushimi, Kyoto, drew inspiration from Yagikashiho and created Sanmoku yokan. It is located just a minute's walk from a bus stop in Mitsuishi, and approximately a 2-hour drive from Tomakomai Station. Founded by Toyokichi Yagi, originally from Omi, this Japanese confectionery shop experimented with products inspired by Yagikashiho in Fushimi, Kyoto. The second-generation owner, Yasuzo Minami, developed a taste similar to that of what is familiar to people in Kyoto and named the shop "Tsukikusa Shoten" along with the trademark "Sanmoku Yokan." Even the label's design was crafted by Yasuzo Minami.
Sanmoku Yokan is crafted using only sugar, Tokachi azuki beans, and agar. Hokkaido's yokan is known for its rich flavor of azuki beans, and Sanmoku Yokan is no exception, offering a delightful taste that truly captures the essence of Hokkaido's blessed azuki beans. It is widely acknowledged that sweets made with high-quality ingredients from their respective regions are exceptionally delicious.
The taste of Yagikashiho Yokan can be described as rich, sweet, yet subtly mellow. The sweetness comes from the carefully selected sugar used in its preparation, which balances well with the natural sweetness of the Tokachi azuki beans. The beans themselves contribute a depth of flavor, adding a slight nuttiness and a hint of earthiness to the overall taste profile.
The texture of Yagikashiho Yokan is smooth and velvety, allowing it to easily melt in your mouth. Each bite offers a satisfying and luscious sensation that is both comforting and indulgent.
What sets Yagikashiho Yokan apart is the emphasis on showcasing the natural flavors of the ingredients. The careful craftsmanship and attention to detail ensure that the balance of sweetness, richness, and subtle earthiness is perfectly harmonized, resulting in a truly exceptional yokan.
Address: 35 Mitsueki, Shin-Hidaka Town, Hidaka District, Hokkaido
photo from: https://www.gansomitsuishiyokan.com/?mode=cate&cbid=1746363&csid=0