The Japanese Candy That's Only Made In One City In The World

Japan is famous for its food culture, with sushi and ramen being the most well-known dishes. However, Japanese sweets are also worth mentioning, and one type of sweet that stands out is Kyogashi. Kyogashi is a traditional Japanese confectionary that originated in Kyoto, Japan. What sets Kyogashi apart from other sweets is that it's only made in Kyoto, making it a unique treat that can't be found anywhere else in the world. 

It has a long history that dates back to the late 16th century, when it was only produced for nobles or offered at temples and shrines. In the 17th century, Kyogashi became available to ordinary people as the tea ceremony became more popular. Many shops and stalls began selling Kyogashi on the streets of Kyoto, and it soon became a beloved local treat.

This unusual and rare treat is a must-try for anyone visiting the city. There are shops in Kyoto that specialize in making Kyogashi, with each shop offering a unique selection of sweets. Kameya Kiyonaga is a 400-year-old shop that is known as one of the city's best. Some shops even offer Kyogashi-making classes, where you can learn how to make these delicious treats yourself.

Why it is only made in Kyoto

Kyoto has a long tradition of artisanal crafts and is home to many skilled artisans who specialize in making these traditional Japanese sweets. These craftsmen have spent years perfecting the art of making Kyogashi, using traditional techniques passed down from generation to generation. Originally made with simple ingredients such as sugar, rice flour, and bean paste, the recipe has been refined and expanded over time, and today there are many varieties of Kyogashi.

It is not just a treat for the taste buds; it is also a feast for the eyes. The artisans take great care in shaping and decorating each Kyogashi to make it visually appealing. Some are shaped like flowers or animals, while others are decorated with intricate patterns. The designs and names of the sweets represent the seasons as well as the history and culture of Kyoto.

No law specifically prohibits the production of Kyogashi outside of Kyoto. However, the name "Kyogashi" means sweets made in Kyoto, meaning only confectionery produced in Kyoto would be given the name. This is part of Japan's effort to preserve traditional regional foods. In 1857, the Edo government limited the number of sweet shops allowed to serve these sweets to the Royal Household to just 28 shops.

Another reason Kyoto is the only place these unusual treats are found is the availability of high-quality ingredients. It provides a diverse range of components used in the making of Kyogashi. Additionally, Kyoto is surrounded by mountains, and the warmer climate is well-suited for the cultivation of certain ingredients, such as matcha, the green tea that is sometimes used to flavor and color the sweet and is traditionally drunk alongside Kyogashi.