HOME Featured Loved by locals – 9 must-try confectioneries you can order from Sendai, Miyagi Vol. 2
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Loved by locals – 9 must-try confectioneries you can order from Sendai, Miyagi Vol. 2

2020/12/18

In light of the current Coronavirus situation, we have been featuring flavors from Sendai/Miyagi that can be enjoyed at home. In our 3rd issue, we will once again focus on local confectioneries, especially the traditional sweets with a long history: 9 must-try confectioneries made for the townspeople of Sendai since the early Showa period (1920s to 1940s). We hope you will enjoy confectioneries long-loved by locals and experience the sweets culture of the region at your own home.

*This shop went out of business on 12th Jan 2021. Traditional Japanese Zunda confectionery for the modern consumer

Japanese confectionary store "Okashi Rouho Hirose", which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020, has been preserving the traditional way of making sweets but also producing confectioneries in accordance with the times. "Okashi Rouho Hirose" is famous for being the first shop to create a confectionery using Sendai’s local flavor "Zunda" – known as a difficult to work with ingredient to make souvenirs as it is perishable. This flagship product "Zunda Manju" is liked by many for its edamame texture and flavor. "Zunda" is said to come from the Japanese term "Zunda" which describes the action of squashing the beans. The way how edamame is squashed differentiates the taste of Zunda. The distinctive feature of the "Zunda Manju" is its paste made by the experienced confectioners using traditional cooking methods where the edamame is not completely squashed, leaving a fair amount of bean texture. Furthermore, white pea bean is mixed with the crushed Zunda to make it smoother. Thin dough made with yam also enhances the Zunda paste flavor. "Zunda Manju" is a masterpiece full of passion, where Sendai locals’ favorite flavor can be tasted at home.

The popular souvenir "Zunda Manju" (Zunda bun), lasts longer than buns made with fresh rice cake. (set of 6 is 830 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 8 days.

Preserving traditional taste since the early 18th century

Established in the Genroku Period (1688-1707), when sugar was a luxury item and only few people could enjoy sweets. In such time, "Kumagai-ya" produced various types of dagashi (cheap and small snacks) for ordinary people using cheap ingredients such as crude sugar and millet. Once burnt down from an air raid during World War II, it was quickly reconstructed at the same location and had been using the same original taste since being established more than 300 years ago – "Kumagai-ya" is definitely the origin place for Sendai Dagashi. What also makes Sendai Dagashi attractive is its large variety of more than 20 snacks, such as candies Yubeshi, Nejiri and Kinako-gashi. Kumagai-ya’s appeal is the use of familiar ingredients such as brown sugar, millet and soy beans while keeping the recipe unchanged since the company was established. Another reason why the company is known as an innovator is its traditional snack making methods with dough prepping, cutting and forming which has been passed on for generations. Sendai Dagashi is also in the limelight among young generations since appearing in the popular anime "Wake Up, Girls!", set in Sendai city where one of the main characters is the daughter of "Kumagai-ya".

"Box of Sendai Dagashi" - small box with variety of flavors to be enjoyed. (set of 12 is 648 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 20 days.

Sendai Dagashi where you can enjoy old and new

"Sendai Dagashi Honpo Hitachi-ya" has been making Sendai Dagashi and Sendai Ame (candy) for 4 generations. Founded in 1935 as a candy factory, it was named "Hitachi" after the founder’s hometown in Ibaraki prefecture. "Hitachi-ya" began making sweets using rice, and with changing times it has added new ingredients such as brown sugar and soybean flour to make new textures and flavored sweets. No preservative handmade snacks packed in a box specially designed like a treasure box have been loved for many years for the variety of Sendai Dagashi to enjoy. In recent years, the shop has developed bite-sized snacks for young people interested in trying traditional sweets. This series of small-sized snacks - "Chacco", named after Sendai’s local dialect "Chakkoi" meaning "small", is popular among children for its charming looks. Small but carefully hand-crafted snacks by skilled craftsmen at "Hitachi-ya" passes on the charm of Sendai Dagashi culture along with the nostalgic taste.

"Chacco- Tamatebako small size" including lucky charm "daruma doll candy" (round shaped) (set of 15 is 980 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 25 days.

Beautifully colored and scented picturesque drink

Having been invited to Sendai city by the Date family (the local ruling clan) from Shiga prefecture, the store has been in operation for more than 300 years as the "purveying confectionary store to the lord". "Kokonoehonpo Tamazawa" has been passing on the Japanese confectionary culture in Sendai for 14 generations. "Kokonoe", also used as the trade name, is an original and distinct drink that had once been presented to Emperor Meiji when he had visited the city in 1901. Feature of the "Kokonoe" is its refreshing scent, elegant sweetness and vivid color that can be enjoyed when hail-shaped sprinkles in the glass melts with hot water. There are 3 flavors, Yuzu, Grape and Tea, favored by young generations for the picturesque scene of sprinkles. These drinks can be enjoyed in many ways, from mixing with soda, whiskey highball or sparkling wines to sprinkling on top of ice-cream and yoghurt. Entertaining you with both taste and eyes, "Kokonoe" surely will liven up your tea and dining time.

"Kokonoe" Set of 3 flavors. Each flavor in a sachet for 1 cup. (Set of 10 sachets. 1 sachet(15g) for the portion of 1 cup is 1,620 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 60 days.

Three flavors with one bite! ! 3 colored Monaka

"Kotobuki Sanshoku Monaka Honpo" offers various confectioneries using bean jams made from different types of Japanese ingredients including beans from Hokkaido. The flagship product and name of the store is "Sanshoku Monaka" , meaning 3 different flavored bean jam fillings. This product was originally sold as 3 separate flavors until one customer requested the three jams to be filled in one Monaka(*Monaka is bean jam sandwiched between two thin crisp wafers made from rice cake). The special feature of this round-shaped Monaka is the change in flavor as you eat it. You’ll start with one flavor, it blends into the next, then finally all three flavors mix together in your mouth. Each filling enhances the rich sweetness and taste of the beans. "Sanshoku Monaka" comes in either small/medium/large sizes and among these, the small sized Monaka is popular as a souvenir. This store is not to be missed as it offers other various Sendai confectioneries such as Manju and Youkan using delicious bean jams.

Small but very filling with full of bean jams – Sanshoku Monaka (set of 9 is 1,700 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 12 days.

Special homemade Monaka from sticky rice

The representative product of "Shiromatsu Confectionery Store" is the high quality Monaka that had been made since the store’s opening in 1932. "Making good quality products with a cheap price" as a motto, "Shiromatsu ga Monaka" has been loved not only in Sendai but all across Japan. The reason behind the long support for the Monaka is the elegant texture of the wafer. This particular wafer made of "Miyakogane" sticky rice is in fact made in-house! This homemade sticky rice has a strong glutinous and sticky texture, creating a smooth wafer when baked. There are 4 different bean jam flavors; "Sesame" for its rich taste, "Dainagon (red bean)" and "Shiro Ingen (white soy bean)" made from Hokkaido Adzuki beans and "Marron" in which homegrown marron is kneaded into the bean jam. All of them are carefully kneaded to produce the creamy texture which matches perfectly with the thick wafer. There are 4 different sizes and the smallest "mini Monaka" is very popular as a souvenir to give away to colleagues after a business trip.

Bite-sized "mini Monaka" in 4 flavors. (set of 20 is 1,350 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 10 days.

Rich peanut flavored Sendai Makoron

Established in 1925, "Sendai Makoron Honpo" has been making "Makoron" – an Italian homemade sweet adapted to suit Japanese tastes – for the past 3 generations. The ingredients of "Makoron" are simple, there is no flour but only carefully selected peanuts, Taketori eggs from Shiroishi Zao in Miyagi, and sugar beet for mild sweetness. Since the oil easily separates from peanuts, the main ingredient, it is cooked with minimum pressure to preserve the original texture. Peanuts are milled to powder after going through 4 procedures: roasting, rough grinding, medium grinding and milling before the dough is made to be baked – where the whole process is done by hand by the craftsmen using the same method since its establishment. Perfectly baked to a light brown color, "Makoron" is crumbly on the outside and airy on the inside, where the more you chew the more you taste the aroma of peanuts and mild flavor of eggs spreading in your mouth. Besides the original plain flavor, there are various flavors such as chocolate, sesame, brown sugar and apple. Not only is "Makoron" tasty, but also rich in nutrients and safe to eat, you can’t stop once you start!

Easy-to-eat small sized "Sendai Makoron" plain flavor (110g for 1,350 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 60 days.

Modern designed Senbei with Samurai Warlord Date Masamune engraving

As its name "Sendaigawara Senbei" suggests, this senbei (rice cracker) features the shape of a roof tile from the castle built in Sendai by the Date clan as a motif and has long been loved as a souvenir of Sendai. Its peculiarity is the engraved design of warlord Date Masamune’s equestrian statue and crest of "sparrow on bamboo" that had been used under permission of the Date clan since the establishment of the store back in 1912. Founder of "Dategawara Senbei Issa" trained in Kobe and brought back his confectionery making techniques to Sendai where he invented "Dategawara Senbei". Using the sponge cake baking method, this senbei is made from flour, sugar and egg spread into a specially made mold for baking and each senbei is engraved one-by-one. This method has not changed for more than 90 years and the whole process is done by hand. Similar to butter cookies, it matches with not only green teas but with tea and coffees and is liked by many generations. Other than the engraving of Date Masamune, there are other various designs of four seasons and by request, you can change the design of its engraving, so it is perfect as a gift or souvenir.

Long loved for its addictive taste "Dategawara Senbei" (set of 6 is 620 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 40 days.

"Hasekurayaki" a tempting combination of Japanese and Western style tastes.

"Fujiya Senshu" began its business as a variety store selling tobacco and groceries. When established in 1949, the store paid attention to the popularity of western snacks such as caramels and chocolates among the local students and decided to start making original snacks – this was when "Hasekurayaki" was born. Taking Japanese confectioners 5 years to develop, "Hasekurayaki" was a sweet with a combination of Japanese and Western styles which soon became popular. After deciding that the business would only sell the "Hasekurayaki" confection, the confectionary shop has maintained its traditional production method. What is unique about "Hasekurayaki" is the handmade airy textured bean jam and its dough covering made by craftsmen for which wrapping skill of the bean jam with the dough is said to take more than half a year to acquire. Wrapped dough and the bean jam matches together perfectly and you can enjoy the elegant sweetness and walnut’s aroma. When tasting it at home, heat it up in the oven for a freshly baked taste.

"Hasekurayaki" is named in commemoration to Hasekura Tsunenaga, envoy of the Date clan. (set of 6 is 1,209 yen/tax incl.) Consume within 10 days.

*Prices shown are applicable as of 30th November, 2020.

Okashi Rouho Hirose Honten *This shop went out of business on 12th Jan 2021.
2-11 Okaji, Miyagino-ku, Sendai city
TEL/ 0120-770-141
Open/ 9:00~18:00
Closed/ –
How to order/ TEL, Online
Parking/ 2 spots
Access/ 9 minute drive from JR Sendai Station
HP/ http://0141hirose.jp/
*External link
*Only available in Japanese

 

Ganso Sendai Dagashi Honpo Kumagai-ya Honten
2-2-57 Kimachi-dori, Aoba-ku, Sendai city
TEL/ 022-272-7464
Open/ 8:30~17:30
Closed/ Sunday
How to order/ TEL, FAX, Online
Parking/ None
Access/ 5 minute walk from Kita-Yobancho Station on the Namboku Subway Line
HP/ https://kumagai-ya.co.jp/
*External link
*Only available in Japanese

 

Sendai Dagashi Honpo Hitachi-ya
1-4-7 Odawara, Miyagino-ku Sendai city
TEL/ 022-297-0525
Open/ 9:00~18:00
Closed/ Sunday, 2nd Saturday & 3rd Wednesday of the month
How to order/ TEL, FAX, Online
Parking/ None
Access/ 5 minute drive from JR Sendai Station
HP/ http://sendaidagashi.com/
*External link
*Only available in Japanese

 

Kokonoehonpo Tamazawa Sendai S-Pal store
B1F Main Bldg. S-Pal Sendai 1-1-1 Chu-o, Aoba-ku Sendai city
TEL/ 022-267-4035
Open/9:00~21:00
Closed/ –
How to order/ TEL, FAX, E-mail, Online
Parking/ None
Access/ 5 minute walk from JR Sendai Station
HP/ https://www.tamazawa.jp/index.php
*External link
*Only available in Japanese

 

Kotobuki Sanshoku Monaka Honpo Natori store
254-3 Yanagida, Masuda, Natori city
TEL/ 022-384-4939
Open/ 9:00~19:00
Closed/ –
How to order/ TEL, FAX, Online
Parking/ 20
Access/ 15 minute walk from JR Tohoku Honsen Natori Station
HP/ http://www.sanshokumonaka.jp/
*External link
*Only available in Japanese

 

Shiromatsu ga Monaka Sendai S-Pal store
B1F Main Bldg. S-Pal Sendai 1-1-1 Chu-o, Aoba-ku Sendai city
TEL/ 022-267-4034
Open/ 10:00~20:00
Closed/ –
How to order/ TEL, FAX, Online
Parking/ None
Access/ 5 minute walk from JR Sendai Station
HP/ http://www.monaka.jp/
*External link
*Only available in Japanese

 

Sendai Makoron Honpo
4-1-34 Odawara, Aoba-ku Sendai city
TEL/ 022-223-2279
Open/ 9:30~18:00
Closed/ Sunday and Holidays
How to order/ TEL, FAX
Parking/ 3 spots
Access/ 5 minute drive from JR Sendai Station
HP/ http://www.makoron.co.jp/
*External link
*Only available in Japanese

 

Dategawara Senbei Honpo Issa
3-62 Ninomori, Miyagino-ku Sendai city
TEL/ 022-792-6778
Open/ 10:00~18:00
Closed/ Sunday
How to order/ TEL
Parking/ 2
Access/ 11 minute-drive from JR Rikuzen Haranoachi Station
HP/ https://dategawara.com/
*External link
*Only available in Japanese

 

Fujiya Senshu Honten
4-7-18 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai city
TEL/ 022-222-5305
Open/ 9:00~17:00
Closed/ Sunday
How to order/ TEL, Fax, Online
Parking/ 1 spot
Access/ 10 minute walk from JR Sendai Station
HP/ https://www.fujiya-senshu.co.jp/
*External link
*Only available in Japanese