The origin of the Japanese word for confectionery, kashi, traces back to when people first adopted nature’s familiar blessings of fruit, nuts, and berries into their daily lives.
HIGASHIYA, based on the concept of “daily confectioneries,” aspires to bring traditional Japanese confectioneries back into our everyday lives.
Traditions that persevere despite the passing years. So many things yet to be seen. Unconventional sense of value.
HIGASHIYA learns from the wisdom and traditions of our ancestors and adapts them for everyday modern lifestyles.
If we trace back the history of Japanese confectionery shops, it seems that they used to be divided into two categories, one being the well-established “Onkashitsukasa” shops that provided wagashi (traditional Japanese confectioneries) to those associated with the Imperial Court, and then there were the “Omanyasan” shops that made wagashi－particularly the simpler kinds such as manju (steamed buns filled with bean jam) and dango (rice dumplings)－for the general public. Recently, however, the idea of such neighborhood wagashi shops has faded away from our everyday lives, with people now tending to see Western sweets as the norm for daily life and wagashi only as confectioneries for special occasions or celebratory gifts.
We want to change this by taking Japan’s proud culture of wagashi and recreating it to fit perfectly in our modern-day lives. Placing great importance on the sense of the seasons and their nuances, our goal is to create wagashi that can be enjoyed on an everyday basis.
With this concept deep in our hearts, we combined “hi,” the Japanese word for day, with “kashiya,” the word for confectionery shop, and that is how “HIGASHIYA” was born.
The Beginning of HIGASHIYA
There was an old house covered with ivy, a place where all four seasons could be sensed. From the window inside, you could observe the scenic backdrop of cherry blossoms about to fall at any moment. In a small house along Tokyo’s Meguro River, where you could hear the murmur of the nearby river and feel the sunlight peering tenderly through the trees－this is where HIGASHIYA was born in 2003.
The First Book by Shinichiro Ogata / Founder & Creative Director Bilingual book in Japanese & English
The culture of wagashi was born from the Japanese mentality that enjoys and cherishes the changes in the four seasons and the variation found in nature. This book examines, as a matter of course, everything that has been defining HIGASHIYA since its establishment in 2003, based on the philosophies of Ogata that express Japan through various angles including confectioneries, tableware, and spaces. In pursuit of creating the culture of modern-day Japan and passing on Japanese tradition to the next generation, this book offers an entirely new way of looking at the Japanese identity.
Author: Shinichiro Ogata
Constitution and Texts: Seigow Matsuoka
Photography: L.A. Tomari
Publisher: Seigensha Art Publishing, Inc.
Price: ¥3,900 + tax
Stockists: HIGASHIYA GINZA・HIGASHIYA man・ HIGASHIYA Online Shop
＊Also for sale in bookstores nationwide.
HIGASHIYA GINZA, located on Ginza’s main street, is a Japanese confectionery shop that sells a wide selection of sweets including freshly made seasonal wagashi, original tea blends, and tableware products. Inside, HIGASHIYA’s original interpretation of a sabo Japanese tea salon seats 40 people and proposes a new vision for Japanese tea through its unique concept which is based on the Japanese seasonal turning points. The extensive menu offers various sets through which you can enjoy food, confectioneries, tea, and liquor in many forms, including Japanese-style afternoon tea.
POLA Ginza Bldg. 2F 1-7-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061 Japan (Google Map) Shop Hours: 11AM-7PM +81(0)3-3538-3230 Sabo Hours: Tue-Sat: 11AM-10PM / Sun & Nat’l Holidays: 11AM-7PM +81(0)3-3538-3240 * Both closed on Mondays (Tuesday if Monday is a National Holiday)
HIGASHIYA man is a shop that serves traditional manju Japanese sweet buns that are freshly steamed each day, evoking nostalgia amidst the trendy neighborhood of upscale Minami Aoyama. The charming little store also features seasonal fresh wagashi and other treats that are all full of character and perfect as gifts.
3-17-14 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062 Japan (Google Map) Shop Hours: 11AM-7PM, 7 days a week +81(0)3-5414-3881
Please visit our shops to try our many confectioneries.
These precious and petite wagashi are colorful representations of fruits and nuts, the confectioneries of ancient times, each using a different kind of bean paste.
Neriyokan is a boiled agar and bean paste jelly with a deep history ingrained into Japanese traditional culture. This modern take on a long loved classic has been adapted to an elegantly petite size and packaged in a sophisticated and refined manner.
HIGASHIYA’s original stick-type monaka is a modernized version of one of Japan’s most traditional confectioneries that encases bean paste in thin wafers of glutinous rice. With a variety of original flavored fillings and a package specially designed to accommodate their unusual shapes, this exciting and new confectionery allows one to tailor-make each bite.
Okoshi is a familiar Japanese confectionery that has long been considered to bring good luck. At HIGASHIYA we have combined carefully selected ingredients with aromatic hoshii, steamed then dried rice, creating a confectionery with a wonderfully crispy texture.
HIGASHIYA uses a specially created recipe combined with a traditional method to create a castella, Japanese sponge cake, that is wondrously moist and deliciously intense. One may enjoy two different varieties; the classic HIGASHIYA Castella baked to a golden perfection, and the HIGASHIYA Cacao Castella which has been infused with plenty of aromatic, and rich cacao paste.
These delicate confectioneries have been molded to represent the HIGASHIYA logo. Rakugan is made by pressing fine sugar into a wooden mold, then by skillfully tapping the mold these delicacies are released to create a beautiful flakiness. Ginger, roasted barley, and bamboo charcoal; please enjoy the individual flavors of these ingredients and how the sweets just dissolve in your mouth.
This classic wafer utilizes carefully selected ingredients to create the airiest of textures and a pleasingly light crunch. Its nostalgic taste will tempt you to keep coming back for more.
This baked sweet uses a unique recipe that has been passed down through generations, roasting carefully selected peanuts and then kneading them into sugar and rich eggs. Mellow and smooth in texture, the flavors are intensely delicious.
This traditional sweet is baked using carefully selected wheat flour, sugar, and eggs. Enjoy its uniquely soft and gentle texture, and its simple yet sophisticated taste.
Various types of vegetables and fruits have been thinly sliced and made into chips. Salted lightly, you can taste and enjoy the flavors of the ingredients in their pure forms.
Nut and Bean Snacks
Multicolored little boxes with crunchy mamegashi carefully tucked away inside. Mamegashi are bite-sized crackers with centers of either beans or nuts, and coatings of all different flavors and textures. With such a wide variety, one can enjoy an array of creative flavor pairings while appreciating the ingredients’ distinct characteristics.