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 offers a diverse selection of fresh, seasonal confectioneries as well as original tableware and carefully selected tea tools. At the Sabo teahouse, our modern-day Japanese tea salon, you can enjoy several varieties of original teas and confectioneries together with drinks and dishes from our liquor and food menus.
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 Japanese sweet bun manju shop located on a new yet nostalgic street in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo. This sweet and tiny shop serves manju that are freshly steamed each day and also features seasonal fresh confectioneries, the popular hitokuchigashi (one-bite wagashi), monaka (rice wafer with bean jam), and castella (sponge cake), 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 other confectioneries.