Thursday, May 31, 2012

wagashi late spring 6

This is Wabi from Moroeya.  This is the best and the most famous Rakugan of Japan. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

wagashi late spring 5

These are the 5 colour crest Rakugan from Kameyamutsu.  Founded in 1421, Matsukaze is the representative wagashi.  It specialized in wagashi for temple worship and items to put in front of the alter.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

wagashi late spring 4

Gensui near Nijo of Kyoto is a traditional wagashi house.  I visited the place to buy the famous Tokiwagi which is a kind of kohaku with red beans inside.  I brought back to Vancouver, and my parents and I tried it and we all agree that it is far superior to any other kohaku we have ever tasted, surpassing even Eirakuya's Yuzu kohaku.  Gensui's interior is decorated with many Kogeigashi which is the craft of using candy to craft realistic representation of flowers and birds as exhibition pieces.  There are eagles and pines, peony flowers etc.  Back to Tokiwagi, it is an representation of the texture and appearance of pine tree trunk. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

To celebrate Iris

Iris season is now.  I bought this beautiful incense pouch which looks like a mirror or a fan with Iris design.  Yurino is a small house in the rolls of old Kyoto machiya near my hotel.  The owner is a nice gentleman, very talkative, and introduces his handmade items.  There are many nice pouches that shaped like beautiful flowers or animals.  I like something small to go inside my kimono.


I finished this Obi in Kyoto.  My teacher steamed it for me and sent it to my friends in Tokyo.  I now received it from my friends.  Thank you so much.
My Mom is helping me to sow it together and I will soon update to show how it looks on me.

Friday, May 25, 2012

wagashi late spring 3

Iris is starting to flower here.  The Japanese Iris on my blog cover is growing near the water.  Here in Vancouver, people love to grow the German Iris which is well on dry ground and in sunny location.  I have only a few of the German ones in pots as the ground is too moist and wet and shady.
The candy is from my favourite wagashi house Tsuruya Yoshinobu.  Hoshikingyoku tastes a little bit more firm and crunchy than kohaku.  The iris in purple and white is complimented by the suhama in yellow iris and green leave.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

wagashi late spring 2

Kamehiroyasu's higashi, another view on a black background.  They are little works of art!  I want to keep them forever!

Monday, May 21, 2012

wagashi late Spring

This is a box from kamehiroyasu in Kyoto.  This old shop is located not far from my hotel.  It is an old traditional house and the shop window is sparsely decorated with a couple (only a couple) higashi on a plate.  I walked into the small garden after entering the outer door.  Then I opened the flip-door to enter the house and still there was no one inside.  I sat down on the mat onto of the tatami and admired the large glass case displaced with seasonal higashi of Kizato, Sogidane and Ariheidou.  The designs are beautiful and elegant.  In another glass cabinet, it displayed the boxes to hold them.  I selected a medium size Paulownia box, and called for service.  The old lady came out from the back and started to pack the box for me.  It took quite awhile and she showed me the result.  It looked amazing, just like jewels.  Then she wrapped the box for me carefully.  After saying thank you many times, I walked out of the quiet store and into the street in this early morning.  It did not feel like shopping in the usual sense.  It is like visiting someone's home from another century past.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Little yellow edible flowers deep-fried.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Parangtritis' Nocturne

The new painting is done featuring the beautiful Queen of the South Resort Hotel, and I am wearing the summer kimono bought from Kyoto at Toji temple's market for 1000 yen. 

wagashi 2012 spring 22

Just a detail of Oimatsu higashi.  Suhama, Oshimono and Ariheido.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

wagashi spring 2012 21

Kyoto's Spring Higashi from Oimatsu Wagashi near Kitano Tenmangun features:
Suhama: pine needles
Rakugan: fan, sakura, daffodil
Kohaku: bird, sakura
Senbei: sakura
Jelly: butterfly
Oshimono: pink/green
Ariheido: fern and red knot
Kisato: pine needles
Plum Bonbons: yellow
This is a really beautiful box, so colourful and very pink!


Thank you my Japanese friends for giving me this wonderful cloth made by the famous kimono house Erizen in Kyoto.  I was thinking how I can utilize the cloth.  Finally I asked my Mom to make it into a pillow case.  So now I can dream about Genji Monogatari at night!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

new shirt

This shirt is from Pagong of Kyoto.  The silk shirt is printed in traditional yuzen style in black, gray, silver, and brown.  The story is a particular scene in Kabuki, about Benkei and Yoshitsune.  The skeleton is very cool, dressed in lotus leaves and the silver scrolls gave the feeling of the spirit world.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

wagashi 2012 spring

This higashi is very special.  Himamori features a red sunflower symbol higashi and an Aoi leaf higashi in white.  Aizu Aoi Wagashi is from Fukushima.  They use Wasanbon sugar and soba powder to produce this higashi.  The natural red is obtained from a flower growing along the Silk Road in China.  The flower entered Japan sinced the Asuka period.

wagashi 2012 spring 19

Rakugan from Eirakuya, "children's Day".

Wagashi 2012 Spring 18

Jellies!  Jellies!  Jellies!
They are from Masune Wagashi, Kyoto.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

flora salad

This is a salad with radish sprouts, chirimen sansou and akebia flowers.  I got all 3 kinds of Akebia there: Akebia quinata rosea, Akebia quinata shirobana, Akebia trifoliata.

wagashi 2012 spring 17

Paulownia Court by Toraya, Kyoto, celebrates the early flowering of Paulownia my garden.  The tree is nw abiut 10 years old.  It started from a seed and grew to be a big tree now and it first started flowering 3 years ago, usually in May.  Other Paulownia trees in Vancouver will flower end of May and early June.
Toraya's oshimono is so beautiful, the colours are natural and the craftmanship superb!

wagashi 2012 spring 16

Silk Stones from Kamahachiroho of Kyoto near Kitanotenmangun. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

wagashi 2012 spring 15

Masune Wagashi is a little shop on Sanjodori near Pagong on Sanjo and Koromo Sanjo where I usually shop.  It carries higashi only.  Kyonohigashi Boat includes jellies, rakugan, unpei and wasanbon.

wagashi 2012 spring 14

Celebrating the chinese wisteria opening, we ate Rakugan in wisteria design.

wagashi 2012 spring 13

Nakanishi Wagashi is located in Naramachi of Nara.  I visited on April 24 afternoon.  Hanatachibana is inspired by the legendary Seasonless Fragrant Fruit (Tokijikunokakunokonomi) in far away land recorded in Kojiki.  It is a combination of dried rice powder, sugar and sour taste of Yuzu.  Will we get eternal life after eating?  The taste is heavenly.
I also had macha and namagashi there.  It is a nice place, to have tea and rest a little after going to the sites such as Todaiji and Kasuga Taisha.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I made a new friend

This is Sentokun, the mascot of Nara.  He is a combination of deer and guardian from heaven.

wagashi 2012 spring 11 and 12

Celebrating Cherry Blossom in Vancouver, I am eating Sakura thin ice and Sakura Wasanbon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wagashi 2012 Spring 10

This could be the oldest wagashi in Japan that is still produced in Kyoto.  Seijokankidan is celebrating Kangi Kango which represents the male and female principles in Buddhist doctrines.  The spiced an is wrapped by a thin layer of dough like a little bag with 8 knots symbolzing the 8 petals of lotus seat, then deep-fried in sesame oil.  This Nara period traditional candy originated from Tang's China more than 1000 years ago.  Shotoku Taishi's envoy brought it back to Japan.  Now it is still produced by Kameya Kiyonaga in Kyoto.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

wagashi 2012 spring 9

French Tea Service with le the noir de violette from Mariage Freres, les Anis de Flavigny violette, Konpeito and Crystalized violet flower.

wagashi spring 2012 8

Kameyamutsu's Suhama is formed by hand, into large beans and dipped into fine sugar.