10 Best Kyoto Wagashi Shops For Sweet Lovers

Gin Seah is the voice of AAB Kyoto. His journey in Japan began at age 11 in Miyazaki and led him through many cities including Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo. It was in Kyoto, rich with history and culture, that he found his second home.
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Step into the world of Kyoto wagashi, where traditional Japanese confectionery artistry meets exquisite flavors. In this listicle, we explore the captivating realm of these intricately crafted sweets that embody centuries-old traditions and cultural heritage. From delicate textures to harmonious blends of sweet and savory, each wagashi piece tells a story through its presentation and taste.

Discover the secrets behind these delectable treats, learn about their significance in Japanese culture, and find out why they are cherished by locals and visitors alike. Get ready to indulge your senses with our top picks showcasing the finest examples of Kyoto wagashi craftsmanship. Scroll down for reviews of our recommended selections that will transport you to a world where every bite is a symphony of flavor and artistry.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore traditional Japanese sweets at various renowned establishments in Kyoto, like Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten and Toraya Karyo Kyoto Ichijo.
  • Experience the cultural heritage and craftsmanship of wagashi at places such as Kasagiya and Nakamuraken.
  • Indulge in the serene ambiance and exquisite tea sweets at Saryo Housen and Bunnosuke Chaya Honten.
  • Immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings while savoring wagashi at Zen Cafe and Kamo Mitarashi Chaya.
  • Discover the artistry and flavors of wagashi at Seien and Umezono CAFE & GALLERY.
  • Embrace the traditional Japanese confectionery culture by visiting these Kyoto wagashi establishments.

10 Best Kyoto Wagashi Shops

Kyoto's oldest wagashi shop set in the serene and historical Gion district

1. Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten

Established in 1753, Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten stands as one of Kyoto’s oldest wagashi shops, boasting a rich history and tradition that spans centuries. The shop has earned a stellar reputation for its unwavering commitment to using premium ingredients and showcasing impeccable craftsmanship in every confection it creates.

When you step into Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten, you are greeted by an array of meticulously crafted traditional sweets that reflect the essence of Japanese culture. Each wagashi [1] is not just a treat for the taste buds but also a feast for the eyes, with intricate designs and vibrant colors that showcase the artistry behind these delectable creations.

One must-try wagashi from Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten is “Kyo no Fuyu” (Kyoto Winter). This seasonal delight encapsulates the flavors of winter with its harmonious blend of sweetness and subtlety. From its texture to its taste, this confection embodies the essence of Kyoto’s culinary heritage.

For those seeking an authentic taste of Kyoto through its time-honored wagashi traditions, a visit to Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten promises an unforgettable experience steeped in history and flavor.

2. Toraya Karyo Kyoto Ichijo

A branch of the renowned Toraya confectionery, Toraya Karyo Kyoto Ichijo, has been delighting customers with exquisite wagashi since 1625. By merging traditional techniques with innovative flavors, they craft unique confections that capture the essence of Kyoto’s rich culinary heritage.

One standout recommendation is the “Yorokobi no Uta” (Song of Joy) treat—a perfect blend of sweet bean paste and matcha that embodies a harmonious balance between sweetness and bitterness. This delicacy not only pleases the taste buds but also serves as a symbol of Japanese culture and craftsmanship.

Toraya Karyo Kyoto Ichijo stands out for its commitment to preserving age-old recipes while infusing modern twists into their creations. Visitors can witness skilled artisans meticulously handcrafting these delectable sweets, offering an immersive experience into the world of traditional Japanese confectionery.

For those seeking a taste of authentic local flavors in Kyoto, a visit to this establishment is highly recommended. Whether you are a wagashi lover or simply curious about exploring new gastronomic delights, Toraya Karyo Kyoto Ichijo promises an unforgettable journey through centuries-old culinary traditions blended with contemporary flair.

3. Kasagiya

Founded in 1898, Kasagiya is renowned for its expertise in crafting yōkan, a traditional Japanese jelly-like sweet made from red bean paste and agar. This delicacy holds deep cultural significance and has been perfected by Kasagiya over generations.

Kasagiya stands out for its diverse range of yōkan flavors, catering to various palates. From the earthy matcha to the nutty black sesame, each flavor offers a unique experience that showcases the artistry behind these confections.

One must-try item at Kasagiya is their signature “Kasagiya Yōkan.” This particular variant embodies the essence of their craftsmanship: smooth texture, rich flavors, and a delightful sweetness that captivates both locals and visitors alike.

The long-standing reputation of Kasagiya draws crowds eager to sample these exquisite wagashi treats. The allure of experiencing authentic Japanese sweets prepared with meticulous attention to detail often results in long lines outside this esteemed establishment.

Whether you are a wagashi enthusiast or simply craving a taste of Kyoto’s culinary heritage, a visit to Kasagiya promises an unforgettable journey through the world of traditional Japanese sweets.

4. Nakamuraken

With a rich history spanning over 160 years, Nakamuraken stands out for its authentic Kyoto-style sweets that captivate both locals and visitors alike. The intricate designs of their wagashi draw inspiration from the beauty of nature and seasonal elements, offering not just a treat for the taste buds but a feast for the eyes as well.

“Nakamura Dorayaki” is one of Nakamuraken’s signature delights that embodies perfection in every bite. This delicacy features a soft and airy pancake embracing a luscious sweet bean paste filling that effortlessly dissolves on your palate, creating an unforgettable culinary experience.

Indulging in Nakamuraken’s creations goes beyond mere consumption; it becomes an exploration of tradition, craftsmanship, and artistry intertwined in each confectionery masterpiece they craft. From delicate sakura motifs to vibrant autumn leaves imprinted on their sweets, every detail showcases the dedication to preserving Kyoto’s cultural heritage through these delectable treats.

Immerse yourself in the essence of Kyoto through Nakamuraken’s time-honored recipes and meticulous attention to detail, which have made them synonymous with excellence in wagashi craftsmanship.

a modern wagashi café that blends traditional techniques with contemporary flavors

5. Saryo Housen

Saryo Housen is a modern wagashi café that skillfully blends traditional techniques with contemporary flavors, offering a unique culinary experience for visitors. The confections served at Saryo Housen are not only visually stunning but also incredibly delicious, making them a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.

One of the must-try delicacies at Saryo Housen is their renowned “Matcha Parfait.” This delightful dessert features layers of matcha-infused treats elegantly topped with creamy soft-serve ice cream, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavors in every spoonful.

The café’s innovative approach to wagashi showcases how ancient Japanese sweet-making methods can be reinvented to cater to modern tastes without compromising on authenticity. Visitors can savor these exquisite creations while immersing themselves in the serene ambiance of the café, providing a truly memorable dining experience.

Saryo Housen’s ability to seamlessly fuse tradition with innovation has garnered them a loyal following among locals and tourists alike, solidifying their reputation as a go-to destination for those seeking exceptional wagashi in Kyoto.

6. Bunnosuke Chaya Honten

Founded in 1805, Bunnosuke Chaya Honten excels in creating delicate and artistic wagashi that is truly a feast for the eyes. These exquisite sweets are not just treats but also pieces of edible art meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans with years of experience.

The dedication to detail is evident in each sweet produced at Bunnosuke Chaya Honten, ensuring that every creation meets the highest standards of quality and aesthetics. The use of traditional ingredients like brown sugar and bean paste adds depth to their flavors, enhancing the overall experience for those indulging in these delectable confections.

One highlight not to be missed is their seasonal offerings, such as the enchanting cherry blossom-shaped “Sakura Mochi.” This particular wagashi showcases both the skill of the artisans and a celebration of nature’s beauty through food artistry.

For those seeking not only a treat for their taste buds but also a visual delight, exploring the world of wagashi at Bunnosuke Chaya Honten promises an unforgettable culinary journey filled with tradition and innovation.


A charming café, Zen Cafe offers a contemporary take on traditional Kyoto wagashi, blending innovation with heritage. Indulge in their array of wagashi-inspired desserts and beverages, like the exquisite matcha tiramisu and the heavenly wagashi parfaits.

Immerse yourself in a tranquil ambiance at Zen Cafe while relishing their delightful confections that beautifully fuse modern flavors with classic Japanese ingredients. The cafe provides a unique experience where you can appreciate the artistry behind each dessert creation.

Zen Cafe’s menu boasts an impressive variety of treats that cater to different tastes and preferences, ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you have a sweet tooth or crave something more subtle, this café has an option that will satisfy your cravings.

8. Kamo Mitarashi Chaya

Located near the renowned Kiyomizu Temple, Kamo Mitarashi Chaya stands out as a beloved destination for wagashi enthusiasts. The establishment prides itself on crafting an array of traditional sweets using locally sourced ingredients, including the renowned Kyoame candy native to Kyoto.

One must-try delight at this charming spot is their signature “Mitarashi Dango.” These delectable skewered mochi balls are generously coated with a delightful sweet soy glaze, offering a unique blend of flavors that epitomize Kyoto’s culinary heritage.

Whether you’re a fan of small mochi balls or have a penchant for exploring authentic Japanese treats, Kamo Mitarashi Chaya promises a delightful experience for your taste buds. Embrace the opportunity to savor these exquisite creations amidst the cultural richness of Kyoto.

9. Seien

Seien, a renowned wagashi shop established in 1854, is celebrated for its meticulous artistry in crafting traditional Japanese sweets. The shop’s expertise lies in nerikiri, a delicate wagashi variety created from white bean paste and mochi.

Dive into Seien’s seasonal assortment to savor an array of distinctive flavors and captivating designs that showcase the essence of each season. Whether you are a seasoned wagashi enthusiast or new to this exquisite treat, Seien promises an unforgettable experience through its masterfully crafted pieces.

With over a century of heritage behind them, Seien continues to captivate customers with not just the taste but also the visual appeal of their creations. Each wagashi at Seien is not merely a sweet treat; it embodies centuries-old traditions and craftsmanship passed down through generations.

Immerse yourself in the world of Kyoto wagashi by indulging in the must-try offerings from Seien, where every piece tells a story and every bite is an ode to Japanese culinary artistry.

Combining art, culture, and wagashi, Umezono CAFE & GALLERY provides a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors. The establishment boasts an impressive art gallery that not only showcases traditional Japanese crafts but also offers a delightful selection of confections.

At Umezono CAFE & GALLERY, guests can immerse themselves in the beauty of intricate Japanese artwork while indulging in delicious sweet treats. One must-try item on their menu is the “Umezono Monaka,” a delectable delicacy consisting of crispy wafers filled with sweet bean paste.

This café stands out as more than just a place to grab a snack; it’s an opportunity to appreciate the fusion of visual arts and culinary delights. Whether you are looking for a unique meal experience or seeking out souvenirs to commemorate your visit, Umezono CAFE & GALLERY has something special to offer in the realm of confectionery.

a variety of traditional Kyoto wagashi and each piece is intricately designed embodying the cultural heritage and culinary artistry of Kyoto set in a serene tea ceremony setting


You’ve now explored a variety of traditional Japanese sweets spots in Kyoto, each offering a unique experience and flavors. From the historical charm of Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten to the modern twist at ZEN CAFE, Kyoto’s wagashi scene is diverse and delightful. Whether you’re a matcha enthusiast or have a sweet tooth, these establishments cater to all tastes and preferences.

So, next time you find yourself in Kyoto, don’t miss the chance to indulge in these exquisite wagashi delicacies. Venture into the world of Japanese confectionery, savor the intricate flavors and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage that each sweet treat embodies. Your taste buds will thank you for this unforgettable journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten known for traditional wagashi in Kyoto?

Yes, Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten is renowned for its exquisite traditional wagashi in Kyoto. They have a long-standing reputation for crafting authentic Japanese sweets that are not only visually appealing but also delicious.

What makes Toraya Karyo Kyoto Ichijo stand out among other wagashi shops?

Toraya Karyo Kyoto Ichijo stands out due to its rich history dating back to the Edo period. Their commitment to using high-quality ingredients and preserving traditional techniques sets them apart, offering customers an unforgettable wagashi experience.

Are the sweets at Kasagiya suitable as gifts or souvenirs from Kyoto?

Absolutely! The beautifully crafted sweets at Kasagiya make perfect gifts or souvenirs from Kyoto. With their delicate flavors and elegant presentation, they are sure to impress anyone lucky enough to receive them.

How does Saryo Housen incorporate seasonal elements into their wagashi creations?

Saryo Housen excels at incorporating seasonal elements into their wagashi by sourcing fresh, seasonal ingredients and drawing inspiration from nature’s beauty. This attention to detail ensures that each sweet not only tastes exceptional but also reflects the essence of the current season.

Umezono CAFE & GALLERY offers a distinctive experience by combining delicious wagashi with art appreciation. Visitors can indulge in delightful Japanese sweets while immersing themselves in a creative atmosphere surrounded by captivating artworks—a harmonious blend of culinary and visual delights awaits at this establishment.

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