The origin of Japanese sweets has a deep connection with the history of the culture of tea ceremony in Japan. Where tea culture is rooted, there are a variety of traditional sweets. Kyoto is famous for the culture of tea ceremony as well as sweets. Another famous town is Kanazawa.
Kanazawa became very popular especially after the Japanese High Speed Rail Shinkansen started the operation in March, 2015 between Tokyo and Kanazawa. Many tourists visit Kanazawa by Shinkansen. But if you have time, it will be interesting to visit the suburbs of Kanazawa.
Recently I visited Kanazawa and went to Nonoichi which is a neighbouring city of Kanazawa. There, I found an old Japanese sweets shop.
Checking Station Ataka
There was a feudal family Togashi in the late 12th Century. This family guarded the checking station near current Kanazawa City. The checking station was in the place called Ataka. The old story goes that a military commander of the Minamoto clan escaped the eyes of his pursuer and arrived at Ataka checking station. In order to pass through the station, his retainer recited the fake “subscription list that monks would normally carry” on a mission to rebuild the temple and convinced the guard to let them go through. This story is one of the famous story of Noh play. I found the description on the website.
So what is the relation with this Noh play and the sweets Shop? Well, there is an old Japanese sweets shop in Nonoichi City and the owner family of the shop is the ancestor of this guard. The name of the shop is Kashida Fugakudo.
The location of the shop is in Nonoichi City and not in Ataka where there was the checking station. However one of the guides at the museum told me that the incident at the checking station story actually took place in Nonoichi, not in Ataka. (Sounds very complicated but it seems Noh play writer made up a story.) And their flagship sweets “Kanjincho” has a shape of the fake subscription list.
Many Japanese sweets nowadays are made by machine. But this Kanjincho is handmade and there is no artificial additives.
In order to visit Kashida Fugakudo, you have to take a bus for about 30-40 minutes. Otherwise, take a taxi for about 20-25 minutes from Kanazawa City. But if you go there, in addition to this old sweetshop, you can enjoy walking along the streets where there still remain old traditional Japanese houses. I will write about those old houses in my next posting.
For More Information on Kashida Fugakudo
Address: 8-9 Honmachi 3-chome, Nonoichi City, Ishikawa
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm
Access: If you take public transport, take JR Hokuriku Line from Kanazawa Station to Nisei-Kanazawa Station, go to Shin-Nishikanazawa Station and take Hokuriku Tetsudo Ishikawa Line to Nonoichi Kodaimae Station. Otherwise take a taxi.