While doing some errands yesterday I couldn’t pass up going to one of the oldest sweet shops in Daimyo, Komaya. The people that work there are the kindest, sweetest people and the sweets are amazing. I got a black sesame mochi with a whole chestnut and red bean paste.
Sadly, I didn’t get to see the full moon last week because it was a bit too cloudy but I did get to enjoy this beautiful full moon wagashi so all is not lost.
In Canada we have the man in the moon, but in Japan it is a little rabbit pounding mochi. So naturally there are lots of rabbit sweets now because September 21st is Tsukimi ・月見 or ‘moon viewing day’ which is a festival here. The moon last night was amazing so I have high hopes for tonight; we are so lucky with clear skies this week.
It felt like a minute since I’d been to Rabbit Moon・兎月 and of course they did not disappoint. A cute flower filled with white bean paste to go with my spiky thistles.
Some choices are hard, but sometimes you go to Kichi Zoh・吉蔵 not knowing what you want and see a namagashi in the shape of a bunny and you know instantly you have made the right decision.
It was wonderful.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw this at Kichi-Zoh today. For one reason, it’s an adorable forest mushroom with white mean paste and whole adzuki beans. Two, this was actually the first wagashi I tried in Fukuoka last year, before I started writing in here. I’m coming up on a year in Fukuoka, which is unbelievable, but not more so than realizing you measure the passing of time in seasonal sweets.
On Monday I had gone out completely forgetting the 2 places closest to me were closed. Not ready to admit defeat, I found a green grape and an nin dōfu・杏仁豆腐. It’s a Chinese sweet almond pudding that I love all iterations of. Sad that I missed out but at least there’s 7/11 to fall back on in case of emergency.
Another hot rainy day. I had these little balls with the smoothest red bean paste in a sweet syrup, mizu manjū・水まんじゅう. A pretty, light pairing for a humid day.
The first sunny weekend in August! Here we go, off to the north where I read about a hike that ends at a beach. Here is the first mini mountain range I will climb, its only about 300m high. On the way up I pass through temples and chestnuts.
I was a little worried it would be too hot but it was much, much cooler once I got up a bit. Unsurprisingly, the path was very beautiful and not too bad after the rain we’ve had.
There’s walking sticks, a tiny river and some awfully cute views from the top of Mt. Yugawa・湯川山! I was hoping for a few more views but maybe I need to explore around more.
On the way down I passed though some farms and abandoned cafes. No one reading this will be shocked, but I also found an amazing sweets shop on the way to the shrine at the peak of the cape. The picture taken from the top of the stairs shows the mountain I just came down from.
This is the funniest structure I have ever seen in Japan. Well, I’m happy someone built it so I could see the ocean. I was almost 6 hours into the hike, mid-day at 35 degrees and I was a little tired and evidently too tired to take a single photo of the ocean from up there!
But don’t worry, here’s the snack I got: chilled strawberry warabi mochi. It was the best thing I have ever eaten in my life (it was the first cool thing I had consumed in many hours).
Finally! I made it to the beach. For the first time this summer I kicked off my shoes and went swimming in the ocean. Hard to beat. When I finally got out and made my way over to the bus I met these funny veggies sun-bathing on the street. I might come back next weekend, it was a lovely, easy hike with the perfect ending (and snacks).
And of course, here is my course on Yamap!