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Konpeito, Japanese Star Candies

Even if you do not know its name, you must have seen Konpeito during your Japanese encounter –colourful traditional candies in the shape of stars.

konpeito1-2

Copyright: http://www.konpeito.co.jp

Carefully hand crafted, the ingredients of Konipeito are simple – rock sugar, water, flavourings and colour pigments. However, maybe it is this simplicity that modern society needs. It is also this pureness that reminds us of the innocence of childhood.
shop
Copyright: http://www.konpeito.co.jp

Established in 1847, “Ryokujuan Shimizu” is the only Konipeito specialty shop in Japan and one can find a childhood frozen in time. Upon entry, a sweet smell immediately sends you back to a Japan before M&Ms and all the other western candy brands – flasks of star-shaped Japanese candies, pale and translucent grains in rainbow colours.

The shop has over sixty flavours but there are always some limited seasonal flavours. For this summer, they will introduce a couple of limited flavours including “cool breeze”.

summer

Copyright: http://www.konpeito.co.jp

melon

Copyright: http://www.konpeito.co.jp

While Konipeito is famous as a traditional Japanese candy, surprisingly, it did not originate in Japan. Konpeito was introduced by Portuguese traders to Japan in the early 16th century. The word Konpeito itself came from the Portuguese word “confeito”. By the Meiji period, Konpeito had already earned its status as the  traditional Japanese sweet that we see nowadays.

While “Ryokujuan Shimizu” is located in Kyoto, you can find its products in the “Japanese candy” corner of all the Mitsukoshi branches in Tokyo. With all the florescent lights in the metropolis, it can be hard to spot the stars. This can be a different kind of star for you in Tokyo. Under the veiled and starless sky, drop these grains of stars into your hands.

Information

Ryokujuan Shimizu
Address: 38-2 Yoshidaizumidencho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 10am – 5 pm.
Access: A 10-mintue walk from Exit 2 of Demachiyanagi Station of Keihan line
Holiday: Wednesdays, and the fourth Tuesday of every month
Tel:  075-771-0755
Official HP: http://www.konpeito.co.jp

Article by Eva

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