Toraya is the oldest existing wagashi (Japanese confections) store. Dating back to the mid sixteenth century in Kyoto, where it became a purveyor to the imperial court under the reign of Emperor Go-Yōzei (1571-1617). Towards the end of the Edo period Toraya moved their center of operations to Tokyo, leaving behind the orginal store in Kyoto.
Currently, The flagship store is in Akasaka, and other locations in the main luxury department stores around Tokyo.
The Toraya store in the lower lever of Tokyo midtown, a commercial, business and residential complex in Roppongi, is a great example of the modern life of this 400+ year old business. It is an excellent location to go for delicious Japanese sweets. This Toraya location also serves as an art gallery and a cafe as well as an amazing wagashi related souvenir shop
Wagashi are Japanese confections) in which main element is azuki bean paste. This is made by cooking the beans with sugar, mashing them and finally straining the mix through a fine sieve to produce a smooth paste called gozen an (koshi an). When the paste is not strained it is called ogura an (tsubu an).
In addition to bean pastes, other wagashi ingredients can be agar-agar, rice flour, Kanten (a fiber rich gelatin made from seaweed) and oldest domestic sugar which is made with rare kind of sugar cane from Tokushima prefecture, commonly made into molded dried sweets (higashi)
Wagashi confections are based on the principle to appeal the five senses; appearance, taste, texture, scent and sound
In Kyoto there are two locations:
The principal store, combined with decent sized tea house, is on a street west of the Kyoto Imperial Palace and garden. The teahouse holds a lovely small library and some of the tables have a picteresque garden view.
Address: Karasuma-Nishi-iru, Ichijo-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
The other is next to the Fujii Daimaru department store on Shijo-dori – the road that connects the Gion district with wetern Kyoto.
Address: Gokomachi-Nishi-iru, Shijo-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
There are many wonderful Wagashi shops in all of Japan and trying the different styles and specially Toraya!
Toraya Tokyo Midtown
Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku; Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
11:00 – 21:00 Daily