The traditional Japanese confectioneries are made only with ingredients from plants (rice, azuki bean, matcha tea, fruits), without eggs or milk. There are many types, some specific to the area, some available throughout the country.
One such confectionery delight specific to Kyoto is yatsuhashi, a sweet sheet made from rice flour and sugar, with various flavors such as cinnamon, sesame and matcha. With origins traced back to the end of the 17th century, its name comes from Kengyo Yatsuhashi, a famous koto player: a few years after his death, someone thought of creating cookies shaped like a koto, naming them yatsuhashi.
The name was successful and remained in use until today, even if the shape of the cookie changed, now packed triangularly with the filling in the middle (often with red azuki bean thick paste).
In time, yatsuhashi became so famous that it is now one of them most popular omiyage souvenirs from Kyoto. Here’s one of the stores selling them, located in Arashiyama, easy to remember because of its mascot, the girl in the red kimono from its billboard…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: