[Himeji City] “Gosei Monaka Honpo” is a Japanese confectionery shop that has been and will continue to be a part of history along with Himeji Castle.

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Since the Showa era, Gojo Monaka Honpo has been popular with locals and tourists alike for its Himeji Castle-related sweets. Would you like this as a souvenir from Himeji or as a keepsake for yourself?

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A sweets shop rooted in the community

Orange noren curtains stand out<br>
Orange noren curtains stand out

"Gosei Monaka Honpo" is the trade name of Nakano Co., Ltd., which was founded in 1958. Our main store is located in a quiet alley lined with private houses, close to Kyoguchi Station on the JR Bantan Line.

The interior of the store has tables set up so that customers can take a breather. We also sell sweets wholesale, and children sometimes come to buy snacks.<br>
The interior of the store has tables set up so that customers can take a breather. We also sell sweets wholesale, and children sometimes come to buy snacks.

``It's a relaxing place where people from the neighborhood can feel free to stop by and chat,'' says Mai. On the day of the interview, regulars continued to visit. You can feel the warmth that only a shop with roots in the local community can give you, when you see them having casual conversations with the shop staff and leaving with smiles on their faces.

Let's introduce one by one the famous sweets of this shop, which strives to make sweets with the idea of ​​``delivering good products with good ingredients.''

Let's eat Himeji Castle! A majestic castle in a cute monaka

Himeji Castle and “Five-story Monaka” (Photo provided by Nakano Co., Ltd.)<br>
Himeji Castle and “Five-story Monaka” (Photo provided by Nakano Co., Ltd.)

``Five-story Monaka'', which is modeled after the five-story main tower of Himeji Castle, was created by Mai's grandfather, the current chairman, to commemorate the major renovations in the Showa era.

When you open the package, you can smell the aroma of monaka skin. You'll want to stuff your cheeks right away, but first take a closer look at it. The roof, windows, and other details have been recreated, making it stand on its own, worthy of its name as a World Heritage Site.

“Five-layer Monaka” 1 piece 194 yen, 5 pieces 1,058 yen<br>
“Five-layer Monaka” 1 piece 194 yen, 5 pieces 1,058 yen

The crispy and fragrant skin is hand-baked using sticky rice from Saga Prefecture, and the elegantly sweet bean paste is made from azuki beans from Hokkaido. The feeling of unity when you put it in your mouth is irresistible. The chopped chestnuts peeking out from inside the bean paste add an accent to the flavor and texture.

Shiny red bean paste! It has a nice scent (Photo provided by Nakano Co., Ltd.)<br>
Shiny red bean paste! It has a nice scent (Photo provided by Nakano Co., Ltd.)
Filling the bean paste is done by hand one by one. (Photo provided by Nakano Co., Ltd.)<br>
Filling the bean paste is done by hand one by one. (Photo provided by Nakano Co., Ltd.)

The bean paste is made exclusively for Monaka using a unique method. The second generation president came up with this flavor by adjusting the sugar content to make it less sweet to suit the times.

Sweet and refreshing, instant oshiruko<br>
Sweet and refreshing, instant oshiruko

If you break it into a bowl and pour hot water over it, it will become oshiruko. The skin becomes chewy and chewy, making it more satisfying to eat. Look at it, smell it, eat it. Please enjoy this cute castle with all your five senses.

See that whiteness again! A new type of monaka created in collaboration with local high school students

``Johaku Monaka'' 226 yen each. The skin has the same design as the five-layer Monaka.<br>
``Johaku Monaka'' 226 yen each. The skin has the same design as the five-layer Monaka.

During the major repairs in the Heisei era, a monaka like this was built. The name ``Shiro Shiro Monaca'' is based on the image of a castle whose plaster has been repainted and turned white. This is a collaboration product with Himeji Prefectural Commercial High School, and it seems that the prototype was completed repeatedly while incorporating ideas from students.

Inside the white skin is white bean paste with cheese kneaded into it. We also added white chocolate chips to enjoy the texture, in pursuit of the perfect white color. It is said to be popular among young people and women for its mellow sweetness and new taste.

At the time of its renovation, Himeji Castle was called ``White Sugi Castle,'' a play on its nickname ``Shirasagi Castle.'' Eight years have passed and it is no longer "too white," but the castle white monaka tells us how white it was back then.

Limited time offer from late October to early May. Sakura-an will appear during the cherry blossom season.

Expressing a massive stone wall with soft dorayaki


"Himeji Roman" 216 yen per piece, 1,188 yen for 5 pieces

If the five-layer Monaka is a sweet modeled after the main tower of a castle, then ``Himeji Roman'' is a Japanese-Western dorayaki with the image of a stone wall. The dough is made with plenty of eggs and has a soft and gentle texture. The moderately sweet sweet bean paste and cream harmonize well, and the chopped chestnuts do a good job here as well.

Um, where is Ishigaki? If you think so, take a closer look at the fabric. The grilled grains have a stone wall pattern. This grilling pattern changes greatly depending on the heat level and baking time, so fine adjustments are essential to achieve the same pattern.

In addition, the bean paste is made using a different method than the monaka to match the Western flavor, and you can feel the inquisitive spirit of making sweets.

“Himeji Roman” Matcha and Cafe Latte, both 259 yen each<br>
“Himeji Roman” Matcha and Cafe Latte, both 259 yen each

Himeji Roman, which brings out the flavor of the ingredients, is also popular. ``Matcha'' is made by kneading matcha into dough and cream and sandwiching matcha mochi. The ``Café Latte'' is made with our original blend of coffee beans, ``Himeji Coffee,'' and has the perfect combination of the bitterness of the coffee and the sweetness of the red bean paste. They also have a refreshing ``Yuzu'' made with plenty of yuzu from Yasutomi Town.

Himeji Roman has many fans, not only children and women, but also men. Hats off to you for your sense of expressing a solid stone wall with dorayaki. Enjoy your meal while immersing yourself in the romance of a castle town with a long history.

We also recommend freezing it to make ice cream dorayaki or baking it in the oven until crispy.

How about an original branding iron for crispy tile rice crackers?

“Himeji Castle Tile Senbei” 648 yen for 12 pieces<br>
“Himeji Castle Tile Senbei” 648 yen for 12 pieces

When you come to the large castle tower and stone walls, the last thing you need to do is tiles. ``Himeji Castle Kawara Senbei'' is a rice cracker shaped like the tiles of Himeji Castle, and is a slightly sweet egg rice cracker.

When you think of tile senbei, you have an image of hardness, right? Even though it's not as strong as a real tile, you'll need to be a little prepared to bite into it, but the shop's kawara senbei boast a crispy texture that is easy for the elderly and children to eat. The beautiful Himeji Castle branding iron, which is stamped by hand one by one, is also very tasteful.

This is what the original tile senbei looks like (Photo provided by Nakano Co., Ltd.)<br>
This is what the original tile senbei looks like (Photo provided by Nakano Co., Ltd.)

You can also put your own branding iron on the tile senbei. Apparently, many people order them as company souvenirs or personal celebratory items. How about putting your portrait on it and handing it out instead of a business card?

Chocolate and rice crackers meet, creating a new Himeji specialty

A new product was recently created when tile rice crackers and chocolate met. Chocolate-covered senbei ``Choco-sen''. When Himeji City jointly develops a product with Showa Women's University, with which it has a long-standing partnership agreement, Gosei Monaka Honpo will be in charge of commercializing the product.

Mai also participated in the development, and three types of Choco-sen were created.

``Choco-sen'' From the front: strawberry chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate. 3 pieces (bag) 540 yen, 6 pieces (box) 1,000 yen<br>
``Choco-sen'' From the front: strawberry chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate. 3 pieces (bag) 540 yen, 6 pieces (box) 1,000 yen

The ``Milk Chocolate'' contains almond slices and puffed brown rice for a fragrant flavor, while the ``White Chocolate'', inspired by Himeji Castle, is topped with colorful chocolate to create a retro atmosphere. The ``Strawberry Chocolate'' made with strawberry powder from Himeji is designed with Princess Sen, known as the last heroine of the Sengoku period, who lived a turbulent life.

Not only does it have a gorgeous appearance with strawberry dice and pistachios, but you'll be captivated by the mellow strawberry aroma and sweet-sour taste. The mellowness of the chocolate and the crunchy texture of the rice crackers go well together, and the meeting between the two feels like destiny.

“This product is a product that takes advantage of the unique sensibilities of women,” says Mai.<br>
“This product is a product that takes advantage of the unique sensibilities of women,” says Mai.

The package is a heart-throbbing pink color, making it perfect as a souvenir. Mai says, ``I hope that chocolate sen will be an opportunity for people to get to know our store.''

This year marks 30 years since Himeji Castle was registered as a World Heritage Site. Not only is it a Himeji specialty, but it's also likely to become a hot topic as an anniversary sweet.

Adding new appeal while valuing connections with the local community

Five-story Monaka Honpo can be said to have carved out a history along with the castle. The confectionery has been loved ever since its creation, and has continued to be improved to suit the times. The newly added sweets will also be loved for a long time to come.

Mai has a cute smile<br>
Mai has a cute smile

Mai says she will continue to take on the challenge of developing collaborative products and products using locally produced materials.

``It's amazing to be able to grow up in a town that embraces a world heritage site and be able to do this job.I want to involve young people in creating new products and energize the area.This is the best way I can give back to my hometown.'' I think so,” he says with a twinkle in his eye. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of charm Mai will add to the tradition established by her grandparents and father.

(as a writer)

*This article is information as of March 2023. Prices include tax. Product contents and prices may change.

how to access

Take Shinki Bus 21 (bound for Kashima Shrine) or 22 (bound for Yuhigaoka) from bus stop 16 at Himeji Station (north exit), get off at Kamiyacho bus stop, and walk for 2 minutes. is.

great value bus tickets

With this ticket, you can ride unlimited buses (Shinki Bus Orange Bus) that run within Hyogo Prefecture, as well as the City Loop and Port Loop that run through the center of Kobe, for just 1,000 yen a day! Himeji Castle, Mt. Shosha, Taiyo Park, Suhama Shrine, Port Tower, Nankinmachi, Mita Premium Outlets, etc. You are free to decide where to go. You can enjoy a local trip to the fullest.

*Cannot be used on express buses, community buses, Himeji loop buses, etc.

“Hyogo Amazing Pass” 1-day unlimited ride ticket within Hyogo Prefecture *Limited to foreign visitors visitors to Japan

basic information

Nakano Co., Ltd. Gosei Monaka Honpo

Location: 71 Saiwaicho, Himeji City

Phone number: 079-284-2525

Business hours: 8:00-17:00 *Products introduced in the article can also be purchased at Piole Himeji Souvenir Shop in front of JR Himeji Station (8:30-20:00)

Regular holidays: Open all year round

Parking: Yes

Click here for the official website

Written by

What are good things and good experiences? There are many characteristics such as having a story to tell, overflowing with the thoughts of the creator, having a history, and being loved by the locals. Have you ever come across a special thing or experience that made you want to tell someone about it? And as a result of telling, someone new leads to something. We think that's what "good" is all about. In order to deliver such encounters to our customers, we discover Hyogo's good things based on the concept of "talk, communicate, and connect", and provide information that will shorten the emotional distance between customers and the region of Hyogo Prefecture.

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