While I was in Kyoto, I visited the Kanshundo (甘春堂) wagashi store.
It was founded all the way back in 1865, so they know quite a lot about making these Japanese confections.
They offer a wide variety of sweets. I wish I could try them all.
The reason I went was because they offer a wagashi class!
My wife and I assisted and had a great time. It was definitely a fun and memorable experience.
Making my first wagashi
We were given the materials and an explanatory sheet in English.
However, the instructor spoke Japanese only.
But following his demonstration is not so hard. You can easily understand what’s going on.
We were going to make four types of wagashi.
One thing that I felt a bit disappointed with, was that the dough was already prepared. I would have liked to learn about that process, but perhaps it took too much time.
In essence, what we learned was how to give shape to the wagashi in the same way that they do it at the store.
The wagashi that was shaped with a mold was the easiest. The shape is always right with that method.
Another one involved wrapping the dough around the filling and shaping it.
For the third, one a triangle spatula was used to give the shape of a flower. I had some problems with that one.
Finally, the last wagashi is made by extruding the dough through a strainer and then shaping the pieces into a ball.
I’m not very good in terms of art making, so I photographed my wife’s wagashi instead 🙂
The course includes matcha to eat with the sweets, and you can take the rest home.
I would have liked to buy many jounamagashi (上生菓子) to take home.
These are the highest grade of wagashi, because they are sculpted, fresh confections.
The problem is that they don’t last more than a week, so it’s not enough time for the long trip home.
Please visit Kanshundo if you are interest in wagashi and will be in Kyoto. It’s a feast for the senses.
If you don’t speak Japanese, you should ask for help from your hotel or a friend in order to reserve a wagashi class.
They have three locations, so pay close attention to which one you’re supposed to take the class at.
November 22, 2016
Wagashi are such beautifully crafted sweets! Nice read on your experience at a wagashi class. Wish there were similar outlets in Dubai.
November 22, 2016
Thanks for your comment. I also wish that there was wagashi in my country.