Adjacent to Tokyo, Yamanashi Prefecture is popular for weekend trips as it has many spots to enjoy the sight of Mt. Fuji. It also has several fruit orchards and you can enjoy delicious fruit throughout the year with many fruit-picking events.
In this feature, we introduce three classic souvenirs from Yamanashi Prefecture that are delicious and reasonably priced. Make sure to buy some for yourself or as souvenirs for friends and family.
Kikyo Shingen Mochi (桔梗信玄餅)
Kikyoya was established in 1889 and is most famous for its Shingen Mochi.
Anyone from Japan will be familiar with this packaging. Even though the packet appears small, you will find cutely wrapped bundles inside.
Each one has a small bottle of kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) and a pick.
Undo the plastic wrapper but don’t discard it. Place it on the table. Since Shingen Mochi is coated with kinako (roasted soybean flour), you are bound to have specks of it getting on to the table. The plastic will ensure you make no mess.
Pour the kuromitsu in the groove on top of the mochi and lift it with the pick.
Make sure the mochi is coated well with kinako and has plenty of kuromitsu for a highly satisfying taste.
You can buy gift packs that come in cute packaging, making them ideal as presents.
Chateau Raisin (ぶどうの城)
Yamanashi Prefecture is the largest grape-cultivating region in Japan, so there are many products made from grapes, such as red wine, raisins, jellies. Chateraise’s Chateau Raisin biscuit sandwiches are a delight.
Although it is a biscuit sandwich, it feels like a small cake with a dense thickness. The biscuits on the outside are soft and crumbly.
Sandwiched between the biscuits are two kinds of raisins from Yamanashi and cream.
The cream has a subtle aroma of rum, making it popular among adults.
Koshu Hoto (甲州ほうとう)
Our last choice is a savory one: Koshu Hoto, a hotpot filled with thick noodles from the Koshu area of Yamanashi. If you ever visit Yamanashi, make sure to eat-in one of the many establishments. Usually you are bound to find restaurants selling packs to make these at home. We recommend Yamanashi Kakushi Kaijimen (かくし甲斐路めん).
The noodles are made from 100% Japanese wheat without any additives while the soup is miso flavored.
The box contains two packets of flat noodles and two packets of soup.
One packet of noodles and soup serves 3 people, and one box is sufficient for 6 people, making it cost-effective.
In Yamanashi, sliced pork, pumpkin, green onions, mushrooms, carrots, and noodles cooked in an iron pot. To make hoto at home, prepare vegetables and meat of your choice, add these in any large pot, top with soup stock and let them simmer for a while. Finally, add the noodles into the pot and let them cook for a few minutes.
If you have the opportunity to visit Yamanashi Prefecture, and plan to buy some goodies, then you can’t go wrong with these three specialties.
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