The word ‘wagashi’ derives of ‘wa’ meaning Japanese and ‘kashi’ meaning sweets.

Wagashi is often enjoyed with matcha as the bitterness of the matcha helps compliment the sweetness of the confectionery. It’s reflective of the seasons and is often very delicately and intricately crafted.

Today, I’d like to explore a wagashi-making experience at Shoeidoh, a well-respected wagashi shop in Ichinoseki. Shoeidoh is famous for confectionery souvenirs such as Tamura no Ume (mochi with a jellylike plum sauce inside which is wrapped in an aoshiso green perilla leaf) and Gomasuri Dango (a delicate mochi with a rich sesame syrup inside).

(images taken from Shoeidoh’s website)

As you walk in, you will see counters decorated with delightful seasonal desserts and a Japanese Garden which you can admire from the cafe space. Alongside Tamura no Ume and Gomasuri Dango are some exciting sweets such as wasanbon, a treat that exemplifies the texture and taste of well-refined sugar and ‘Kohaku’, a Shoeidoh brand jelly confectionery. The texture is like that of a jelly-bean with a crispy sugar crust on the outer layer. Aside from being able to purchase these incredible treats as souvenirs or trying something from their cafe menu, you can also try your hand at making wagashi at their main branch, which is a ten-minute walk from Ichinoseki Station.

Autumn wasanbon

Wagashi Making Experience

The store is more than happy to show you how to make wagashi (reservations required; see below for details). A class is 1650yen per person for a 30-minute lesson, which includes green tea (matcha upgrade available for extra price). We made two types of ‘nerikiri’ seasonal sweets made of bean paste and mochi flour. Here is our experience.

1) You will be asked to wash your hands on arrival and be guided to a table set up with all your wagashi needs.

2) The teacher will demonstrate how to make the wagashi. We created a spring lawn and plum blossom for our March lesson. (I also visited in November and produced a chrysanthemum and mandarin).

3) After the demonstration, you will be able to try your hand at making them yourself. The teacher will follow along with you.

4) Once you have made your creation, you have the option to eat them with some tea or take them home.

The experience can be held from 2 to 15 people. We went as a group of four which was just right for an intimate walk-through. During the lesson, you will be able to experience many wagashi techniques. The teacher makes it look so easy but don’t be disheartened if they don’t turn out the way you want them to on your first try. We enjoyed comparing our creations and adding our own special touches.
And to top off the thoroughly enjoyable experience, the nerikiri were delicious!

Lessons are only available in Japanese.  (Originally an Ichinosekilife article)







1) 到着したら手を洗い、和菓子作りに必要なものがすべて用意されたテーブルに案内されました。
2) 先生が和菓子の作り方を実演してくれます。
3) デモンストレーションの後、自分で作ってみる。ます。先生も一緒にフォローします。てくれます。
4) 出来上がった作品は、お茶と一緒に食べるか、持ち帰ることができます。