The world of ever-evolving “dango”: Let’s go to the much-talked-about shop!

One of the beloved traditional Japanese sweets: "dango". In this article, we would like to talk about dango, which is continuing to evolve despite the fact that it’s a traditional sweet.

In Japan, September is a month during which you can enjoy a beautiful clear night sky, and during that time there is an old custom called “Jugoya” for appreciating the full moon shining in the night sky. Since one of the purposes of Jugoya is to pray for a good harvest, people make a variety of offerings, such as dango, which look like a full moon, stacked high like a pyramid, taro potatoes, seasonal vegetables, fruits, and so on, depending on the region, hoping their prayer and gratitude for good harvest would reach the moon.

First of all, “dango” is a round-shaped Japanese sweet made with flours of rice and other grains. In Japan, you can find it everywhere such as Japanese sweets shops and supermarkets. It has a distinctive chewy and sticky texture and comes in many different flavors, such as sweet soy glaze, sweet red bean paste, and mugwort.

Although dango has been around in Japan for centuries, there are also new types of creative dango that you should check out. On social media, you see posts featuring a wide variety of dango, such as “photogenic” dango decorated with fruits or topped with colorful food paste, as well as those in the shape of various characters.

“Irorichaya Nanakorobi Yaoki” is one of the specialty shops that offer not only the traditional taste, but also new ways to enjoy dango. There you can cook special dango by yourself and enjoy them in the shop, which was developed by renovating a traditional Kyoto style house into a café with a modern Japanese style interior.

The "Nanakorobi Yaoki Set" from Irori Chaya Nanakorobi Yaoki. You can enjoy the aroma and choose your favorite tea from the tea leaves in the test tube.

You can experience grilling dumplings and namafu over charcoal in the hearth in front of you. The rabbit trivet is also cute.

Front photo: You can season it to your liking.

Irorichaya Nanakorobi Yaoki are open at two locations in Kyoto: Gion and Fushimi Inari. Sitting around an irori is not an everyday experience even in Japan. Many people from all over Japan come to the shop to enjoy the dango experience.

There is a myriad of diverse dango shops in Japan, including Irorichaya Nanakorobi Yaoki introduced in this article. Why not try “dango shop hopping” the next time you come to Japan?

■DATA Irori Chaya Nanakorobi Yaoki Gion Yasaka Address: 276-1 Matsubaracho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture Opening hours: 11:00~18:00 (Last order 17:00) Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nanakorobiyaoki.gionyasaka/ Irori Chaya Nanakorobi Yaoki Fushimi Inari Address: 22-21 Fukakusaharagawacho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture Opening hours: 11:00~17:00 (Last order 16:00) Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nanakorobi.yaoki_hushimihonten/