Shinise (XIV): Rogetsudo
Yokote City is situated in the central part of the Yokote Basin, in the southeastern region of Akita Prefecture. It shares its border with Nishiwaga Town in Iwate Prefecture and the Yokote River flows through its urban area. The city's history can be traced back to 1951 when Yokote Town in the Hiraizumi District merged with two neighboring villages, forming the current Yokote City. Over time, through several mergers with nearby towns and villages during the mid-Showa period, it eventually became the present-day city in 2005, encompassing all the towns and villages of the Hiraizumi District, including five towns and two villages.
The name "Yokote" originated from the town's development during the early Edo period when the old riverbed of the Yokote River was filled and reclaimed. In the Edo period, Yokote was under the control of the Date clan's Kubota Domain (Akita Domain). Today, the city is renowned for its traditional event called "Yokote Kamakura," which attracts visitors from far and wide.
Yokote City takes pride in its diverse range of local specialties and famous products. The region is known for its mountain delicacies such as warabi (bracken), zenmai (ostrich fern), shiitake mushrooms, and matsutake mushrooms. Other notable local produce includes imonoko (taro) and a variety of fruits such as apples, grapes, cherries, and watermelons. The city is also recognized for its fruit juices, wines, honey, hops, sake, natto (fermented soybeans), processed kelp products, pickles (such as iburi-gakko), soba noodles, dried rice cakes, tofu castella, Yokote yakisoba (one of Japan's three great yakisoba dishes), and Jumonji ramen.
Despite its modern developments, Yokote City still retains multiple long-established restaurants, Western confectionery shops, grocery stores, sake breweries, and traditional ryokans (Japanese inns). These establishments contribute to the city's cultural charm and offer visitors a taste of both traditional and contemporary aspects of life in Yokote.
Rogetsudo——Founded in 1926
Rogetsudo, a beloved traditional Japanese confectionery shop, is tucked away just a 7-minute walk from Jumonji Station. Since its establishment in 1926, this charming shop has become an integral part of the local community.
As you step inside Rogetsudo, you'll be transported back in time with its nostalgic ambiance and warm hospitality. The shop proudly embraces its role as a gathering place for the neighborhood, where young students returning from the nearby swimming pool often make a quick detour to enjoy a cup of tea, a flavorful dumpling, and take a brief respite.
The attentive shop owner extends a heartfelt welcome to each customer, fostering a genuine and personal connection that goes beyond the usual buyer-seller interaction. Regular patrons from the surrounding area frequently drop by, not only to purchase their favorite treats but also to engage in friendly conversations with the owner, sharing stories and catching up on what's been happening in the area.
With its lively and welcoming atmosphere, Rogetsudo truly embodies the spirit of community and nostalgia. It stands as a cherished destination where locals and visitors alike can immerse themselves in the rich flavors and warm connections that make Yokote City such a special place.
In addition to its warm and welcoming atmosphere, Rogetsudo is renowned for its exquisite traditional confections meticulously crafted with time-honored techniques. Among their offerings, the shop takes immense pride in their signature delicacy known as "Shittori Manju." These soft steamed buns are created through a unique process that involves gentle steaming. It is said that perfecting this confection takes an impressive six years of skill and dedication. The Shittori Manju captivates with its moist and chewy texture, enticing your taste buds with delicate flavors. As the name suggests, each bite simply melts in your mouth, striking a perfect balance between the tender dough and the subtly sweet filling. I was instantly captivated by its irresistibly moist and fluffy consistency, complemented perfectly by delightful aromas and flavors.
Alongside the renowned Shittori Manju, Rogetsudo also offers another beloved Akita specialty—the "Butter Mochi." This delectable treat has gained significant popularity in recent years. Combining butter with the traditional mochi rice cake results in a heavenly combination of flavors. While some may expect it to be greasy, it surprises with its harmonious and utterly delicious taste. Originating over four decades ago in Kitakata, a northern city of Akita, Butter Mochi was initially enjoyed as a preserved food by local Matagi winter hunters. Following its appearance on television programs, its fame spread and it has become a sought-after delicacy found in various confectionery shops throughout Akita. Incorporating butter into the mochi not only enhances its shelf life but also elevates its soft and chewy texture. With every bite, the delightful fragrance of butter fills your senses, offering a mouth-watering experience that satisfies those seeking a truly indulgent treat.
photo from: https://www.rogetsudo.com/l 蕗月堂8/14/2023