There’s a first time for everything, and today was the day I woke up at 3:00am to go chase the sunrise. A few of us avid hikers drove up and made the quick hike up. Full disclosure! Most of these are my incredibly talented friend’s pictures from his amazing camera and the boring unedited ones are mine.
The sun rises very early in the summer so it was a little brighter than we planned on the way up, but incredibly beautiful.
Even at such a low elevation we were above the clouds, which in this sunrise pic look like the ocean I think.
I’ve been to this area a few times, it’s a pretty popular hike because if it’s accessibility and being beginner-friendly. It was really nice to have the place to ourselves.
It was such a nice start to the day and I would definitely go on another sunrise trek again.
My wonderful, kind and supportive friend went to pick this up for me when I was busy with work. It was a 2 day only, limited edition for Wagashi (Japanese sweets) Day from Kanou Shōjan・叶 匠壽庵 and it is a special kind of daifuku. It’s called a ni-azuki-ni-mochi・煮小豆に餅, with slightly sweet boiled red beans covered with the lightest, spongiest, fluffiest mochi I’ve ever had. A really beautiful sweet that I am so grateful I got to try, I’m such a sucker for limited edition sweets.
A more classic take on Hakata Minazuki・博多水無月 from Flower Moon・花月堂, a truly beautiful shop that I stopped by for the first time. That’s one of my favourite parts (top fav is the sweets) about finding all the minazuki in the city, it gives me a great reason to explore new areas of the city and new sweet shops.
This one is wrapped so perfectly with a bamboo leaf and is adzuki flavoured with tiny little beans scattered throughout. Perfect on a hot day like today! Like I mentioned before, this is traditionally eaten to ward off evil spirits and I am happy to contribute by eating as many as I can.
From Tugi, a favourite shop of mine: a beautiful white hydrangea namagashi topped with dew drops and filled with tart plum paste. The filling was one of the most surprising and interesting I’ve had in a while- in a very good way! Even the texture of the outside was different, a bit more firm than usual. Beautiful and delicate and delicious as always!
Love an interactive sweet! This pudding is from Izumiya・和菓子処 泉屋. Annin dōfu・杏仁豆腐 is an immensely popular dessert from China that has a lot of popularity here too, it is an almond tofu pudding and I absolutely adore it, particularly as an ice cream flavour. And of course, as a variation of Hakata minazuki! The green is actually from the bamboo leaf they are typically wrapped in, behind it is the red bean jelly with the annin dōfu on top while I drown it in lemon syrup. It was incredibly good, but I think I prefer the classic version of the pudding.
What a great day! This holiday goes all the way back to 848!! Rabbit Moon・兎月 was celebrating by giving out these super fun bags to eager customers. I love it! I celebrated my going to Rabbit Moon, the first sweet place I came to in Fukuoka and one of the reasons I started this blog. I got the seasonal namagashi, a beautiful intricate piece with purple sweet potato paste. A tradition I can get behind.
As a lovely piece explains:
It started in the year of 848 in the Heian period when plague was spreading throughout Japan. With the hope that this disease would stop and everybody would live healthily and happily, the Emperor Ninmyō changed the era to Kashō and prayed to the God with an offering of sixteen Japanese sweets. It was on the 16th of June and the number of the sweet offering was associated with the date. Since then this day became the Wagashi Day and people ate Japanese sweets and wished a happy life. This custom carried on until the Edo period.
The cutest package wrapped in a bamboo leaf from Sanshodō・参松堂. This is another sweet using amanatsu・甘夏, a sweet, Japanese citrus fruit. When you open the leaf, the wooden pick holding it together becomes the fork. Its a wonderful little citrus-y jelly with red beans sprinkled throughout. I can’t wait for more of these!
Welcome to one of my favourite shops in Fukuoka, Tugi! It’s so beautiful and their innovation equally matched by the deliciousness of their sweets. They have monthly specials and I always look forward to checking out their new items. Here is the daily selection of ohagi (sweet rice and bean paste), namagashi (bean paste, flour, sugar sweets) mushigashi (steamed sweets) and monaka (rice wafer and bean paste).
I don’t usually have drinks that aren’t plain coffee or tea but if I see something unusual I can’t help myself. Tugi has あんこソーダ・anko soda, or read bean soda! It’s smooth red bean paste with simple syrup and a splash of lemon topped with soda. It was so good! Definitely happy I tried it.
I took my sweets home and sat down to my matcha set. I got one of the monthly specials, black sugar walnut mochi・黒糖胡桃餅 made with black rice. Really everything they do is incredible, this one was no exception.
A breath-taking flower nerigashi, this time from Fūki・富貴 a shop not too far away thankfully, because it might be a new favourite. It’s filled with white bean paste and was unbelievably smooth and creamy. I always love trying new things but floral nerigashi are truly the best and I love coming back to them.
Summer is here and brings all the amazing Kyushu fruits and veggies. This part of Japan is famous for its produce so I’m excited to try everything. Throughout Japan a wide variety of (usually expensize) grapes are a prized treat. And today, an adorable little treat from Minamoto Kichoan・源吉兆庵, where I’ve gotten lucky a few times. Its a daifuku with a very thin layer of mochi, with white bean paste and at the centre is a green grape that has been jellied on the inside our sugar crystalized on the outside. Kichoan really focuses on fruit and they are always inventive and delicious.