New Year Upgrade

Today I get to try out some new toys. I got a new chasen ・茶筅 yesterday in Kurume after looking around for a little while. Here’s my 1.5 year old chasen, I got a very cheap one in Kyoto when I first thought to start making matcha at home. For about a week, little bamboo pieces started falling out. It looks so sad! Not sure what I’ll do with the old one yet…

I’m really happy to start “re-investing” in these products. Making conscious purchasing decisions with these items is really important to me. I really wanted to wait until I could make a connection with the item, seller and environment and was so happy with the little shop I got it from.


In Kurume I wandered around the park (it snowed a lot) and went to the department store sweet shops. Minamoto Kitchoan・宗家 源吉兆庵 has some truly beautiful sweets so I splurged a bit. Also last weekend I finally restocked on matcha at Ohori Terrace, just in time.


First up is this little kumquat, white bean sweet. Really soft and delicate, juicy and tart kumquat. Excited to try their other products! I don’t often go to department stores, for sweets or anything, but I went twice this week. Department stores in Japan can be extremely fancy and luxurious, definitely more Holt Renfrew than Canadian Tire.

6 thoughts on “New Year Upgrade”

  1. Brye – I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying your blog. It’s opened a whole new world of sweets for me. And SUCH beautiful pictures! xx Aunt Kimme

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      1. Your love for Japanese sweets has me completely intrigued. Now I want to try them too.
        So, would it be a bad idea to try some mochi from a Japanese (bubble) tea shop or frozen from an Asian grocer? I don’t want to have a terrible experience and ruin it forever. Because of COVID I’m not eating in restaurants, so going to a good Japanese restaurant isn’t really an option.

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      2. I think in BC you would have some good options from an Asian grocer! For me, mochi and a lot of these snacks are like pizza, even bad mochi is still pretty good. It would be hard to namagashi or the fancier ones in a restaurant, even here I can only find them at specialty shops instead of restaurants so I think you will have luck over there. I’ll see if I can find ones that might be easy to find in BC because I think it would definitely be worth it!

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      3. I will let you know when I try one.
        Also, I saw a recipe that said it was for mochi on the NYTimes Cooking website – but it didn’t look like anything in your pictures or that I’ve seen. I think I’ll wait on the recipe until I’ve tried a few.

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      4. Yes please do let me know what you find!

        I think the English interpretation of mochi is often a bit different than here. But even in Japan mochi can have different meanings, for sweet, savory, even to describe textures in general (my face lotion promises to give me “mochi mochi” skin). In Toronto I saw mochi often as mochi with ice cream filling, which is much less common here.

        The thought of making mochi at home without a mochi machine is really intriguing!! It sounds very interesting, I’ve made it the traditional way a couple times for fun but now I’m curious….

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