Summery Japanese sweet “Sasaragata” from Ryoguchiya Korekiyo
Japanese sweets are popular as a souvenir, as they embody the seasons, culture and aesthetics of Japan. In this article, we would like to introduce one that everyone has been talking about on social media this summer as an “extraordinarily beautiful Japanese sweet.”
Traditional Japanese sweets are characterized by their delicate and beautiful designs created by skilled confectioners. Many of these sweets use seasonal ingredients, allowing you to sense the four seasons in Japan. Colorful and meticulous decorations and patterns that embody Japan’s nature and aesthetics, such as flowers and landscapes, are nothing but an art. They are also recommended for those who prefer healthier options, as they tend to have lower calories than cookies, cakes, etc. Among the countless Japanese confectionery shops, this time we have picked out “Ryoguchiya Korekiyo,” a long-established shop with over 380 years of history.
Ryoguchiya Korekiyo is a long-established confectionery shop founded in Nagoya in 1634. It is said that the shop’s front sign was drawn and bestowed by Mitsutomo Tokugawa—the second feudal lord of the Owari Domain who was ruling the region at that time. The shop was widely known right from its start, serving the domain’s government as a designated supplier and attracting many people even from other domains. Changing with the march of the times, Ryoguchiya Korekiyo constantly introduces new products. However, the craftsmanship has been handed down to embody Japanese culture and the nature in Japan that changes with seasons.
And imbued with the history, mastery, and beauty of Ryoguchiya Korekiyo is “Natsu Sasaragata,” which is available only during summer. The word “sasara” is an old term meaning “small” or “adorable.” As the name suggests, a “sasaragata” is a small, bite-size Japanese sweet. It is a jelly-like sweet made by adding sugar, starch syrup, etc. into agar, which is dissolved with water, and by using summer fruits such as lemons, watermelons, or pineapples that are familiar to people around the world. With the appearance and texture that create a sense of coolness, this perfect summer sweet is best served chilled.
Left: “Sasaragata Watermelon” – With the red beans resembling watermelon seeds and with the cute stripe pattern resembling a watermelon skin, this one has a pleasant juiciness and sweetness. Middle: “Sasaragata Lemon” – This one has a very summery flavor characterized by the slight bitterness of lemon peels and by the refreshing sourness of lemon juice. Right: “Sasaragata Pineapple” – This one has a pattern made with red bean jelly that resembles a pineapple skin and has a flavor that evokes an image of tropical countries. Natsu Sasaragata <5 pcs. (Lemon x 2, Pineapple x 2, Watermelon x 1)> / Tax-free price ¥1,500 (Ryoguchiya Korekiyo) Natsu Sasaragata <10 pcs. (Lemon x 4, Pineapple x 4, Watermelon x 2)> / Tax-free price ¥3,000 (Ryoguchiya Korekiyo)
Each piece of this beautifully-designed sweet is made by hand with meticulous care. It has even created a buzz on social media, being described as an “extraordinarily beautiful Japanese sweet,” so it will definitely make an excellent souvenir. It is available at Fa-So-La AKIHABARA until late August, so don’t miss out on this chance! (Information as of August 2023)