Friday, May 30, 2008

5/31/08 Yatsuhashi: The Tasty Kyoto Treat

A Japanese custom that I very much enjoy is one involving gift giving. When someone goes on vacation, it is customary for them to bring something small back for everyone in their office. It is partly just to be nice, but I think a big reason for it is to apologize for abandoning your coworkers. They are pretty hardcore about "the group", and going on a vacation with your family doesn't benefit "the group" much at all.

So, with that in mind, one of the English teachers at my school recently gave me a box of yatsuhashi upon returning from a trip to Kyoto. If you recall, its a bit of sweet bean paste wrapped in a dough made of rice and often flavored with cinnamon. I mentioned the little confection in an earlier post but didn't get any pictures. So, here are a few shots to give a better idea of what exactly the treat famous throughout Japan looks like.

Here is the box. This rather strung-out looking lady can be seen in Kyoto wherever souvenirs are sold. This company seems to have a large market share.

Cinnamon, strawberry, and green tea flavored yatsuhashi.

A delicious little bean paste taco. Mmmm!

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