Shinise (IX): Tawaraya Yoshitomi
Kamigyo Ward is situated in the heart of Kyoto City, with the Kamo River flowing on its eastern side and the Kyoto Prefectural Government located there. In the late Heian period, the area north of the Imperial Palace, separated by Nijo Street, was referred to as the "Uwabu" (Upper Side), while the southern part became known as the "Shitabu" (Lower Side). Over time, they evolved into Kamigyo and Shimogyo respectively, during the medieval period.
In the northern part of the city, there is a renowned district called "Nishijin," named after the headquarters of the Western Army led by Yamana Mochitoyo during the Onin War. Nishijin is the birthplace of Nishijin-ori, a high-quality silk fabric, and is home to numerous textile businesses. It also houses notable tea rooms like Fushinan (Omotesenke), Kyodayan (Urasenke), and Kankyu-an (Mushanokoji Senke). The district of Kamishichiken is well-known for its lively geisha quarter.
Kamigyo Ward boasts several temples, shrines, and landmarks, including the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Seimei Shrine, Shogun's Residence Site, and Ichijo Modori Bridge. Additionally, the area retains many long-standing eateries, traditional Japanese confectionery shops, and food stores.
Tawaraya Yoshitomi——Found in 1755
Tawaraya Yoshitomi, a renowned confectionery business located in Kyoto, has a rich and storied history that spans over two centuries. Its roots trace back to 1755, when Tawaraya Sobei inherited Sawaya Harima Okashiji, a renowned confectionery shop where he had previously apprenticed. In 1924, Ryojiro Ishihara assumed ownership and renamed it Tawaraya Yoshitomi. As a purveyor of confections to the Imperial Palace, this establishment holds a significant place in Kyoto's history and stands as one of the city's distinguished traditional Japanese sweet shops. In 2015, they provided advisory support for the production of the NHK drama "Kyoto People's Secret Delights," which features their main store as a setting.
With its commitment to tradition and craftsmanship, Tawaraya Yoshitomi continues to delight customers with its delectable offerings. It is deeply committed to the pursuit of excellence in the art of making Kyoto confections. Dedicated to the principle of "seeking the essence of confectionery," Tawaraya Yoshitomi strives to create exceptional delicacies that capture the heart and soul of Kyoto's rich culinary heritage.
With a passion for sharing the beauty of Kyoto confections with people around the world, Tawaraya Yoshitomi aspires to leave a lasting impression in the hearts of those who indulge in their creations. They firmly believe that confections have the power to foster harmony and connection among individuals.
Tawaraya Yoshitomi offers a diverse selection of traditional Japanese confections, with their most renowned sweet known as "Unryu" (Cloud Dragon). It stands as the flagship confection of Tawaraya Yoshitomi. Using domestically sourced azuki beans, they carefully cook and simmer the filling to achieve a perfectly balanced texture. Each piece is meticulously hand-rolled using the Murasame-an technique, skillfully depicting the grand and majestic figure of a dragon soaring among the clouds. The tasty experience begins with the velvety smoothness of the delicately simmered and moist azuki bean filling. With each bite, the flavors unfold harmoniously, offering a hint of subtle sweetness that is not overpowering. The carefully selected ingredients and precise cooking techniques result in a refined and well-rounded taste that leaves a lasting impression.
There is another version of Unryu called "Hakuryu" (White Cloud Dragon), which has garnered high praise from customers for its majestic and elegant appearance. Unlike the traditional Unryu, Hakuryu replaces the red azuki bean with white kidney beans. This variation offers a rich and velvety flavor profile, characterized by a creamy and full-force sensation that delights the taste buds. The use of white kidney beans results in a unique and distinct taste experience, adding a touch of sophistication to this exquisite confection.
To Tawaraya Yoshitomi, confections are not just mere objects; they are vessels that carry countless stories and experiences. With a deep appreciation for these special moments, Tawaraya Yoshitomi endeavors to be more than just a confectionery shop. Their ultimate goal is to deliver unforgettable experiences through their treats, creating memories that will be cherished by all who savor them.
Address: 602-0029 285-1 Muromachikashiracho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto
photo from: https://kyogashi.co.jp/ 俵屋吉富7/31/2023