A Factory Tour of "Kyoto Castella," a confectionary only available at Narita Airport!

Kyoto Castella is a confectionary made in Kyoto using Uji matcha. We went inside the factory to find out the secret of its delicious taste.

Kyoto Castella is a sweet with a rich matcha flavor and a fluffy texture made by Kyoto’s long-established tea house Itohkyuemon, which is also popular for its matcha parfait ice cream bars. For this article, we were allowed to go see inside the factory, so we headed to Kyoto!

Uji matcha Kyoto castella / Tax-free price ¥1,200 (Itohkyuemon)

First, the dough making process. Matcha powder and flour are mixed by hand. Then the mixture is gently mixed with eggs, “mirin” cooking sake, etc. using a machine. Since three kinds of matcha are used for Kyoto Castella, their ratio is very important. To ensure the rich taste, the makers adjust the amounts of these matcha by measuring their weight many times.

Now the dough is finished, let’s moves on to the baking process. The dough is poured from the mixing machine into pans, shaped by hand, and goes into a tunnel oven.

The tunnel oven is about 15 meters long. During about one hour of baking, there is still something that has to be done by hand. The dough is taken out from the oven, and excess air must be released from castella twice using a spatula. This step is called “awakiri” (meaning “bubble cutting”), and it is crucial in removing bubbles and ensuring a consistent temperature throughout the dough.

Awakiri is a craftsmanship that cannot be done by machine.

Once the deliciously-baked castella comes out from the tunnel oven, a flipping machine is used to flip and take off the pan.

A freshly baked Castella.

After that, the castella is naturally cooled in a rack, cut up, packed, then delivered to us. Made with so much care, Kyoto Castella offers not only a rich and indulging flavor of matcha, but also a fluffy texture. It is available at Fa-So-La AKIHABARA, as well as other Fa-So-La shops in Narita Airport, so make sure to pick them up when you come to Narita Airport!

■DATA Stores Fa-So-La TAX FREE stores at Narita Airport

(Information as of February 2024.)

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