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Kyoto's Red Bean Desserts: 3 Cafes Where You Can Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

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Kyoto is known for its delicious sweets filled with anko, or red bean paste. This article suggests three shops to visit near the popular areas of Gion, Shijo Kawaramachi, and Kitano Tenmangu. After a day of sightseeing, take a break with classic Japanese sweets and green tea!

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Indulge in Anko Red Bean Paste Sweets in Kyoto

Kyoto, one of Japan's most popular sightseeing destinations, has many elegant and refined streets and houses. You can also appreciate your time in the ancient capital with authentic Japanese sweets, or wagashi, along with fine green tea.

In today's article, we introduce cafes and businesses that take pride in their confectionery using anko (azuki or red bean paste), one of the most popular and classic ingredients in Japanese desserts.

1. knot café: A Stylish Place Serving an Anko Butter Sandwich

knot café

Picture courtesy of knot café


Picture courtesy of knot café

knot café is located near Kitano Tenmangu, where the deity of learning is enshrined, and Kamishichiken, a beautiful entertainment quarter with elegant stone-paved paths.

It is easy to get to, as it is a nine-minute walk from the nearest station, Kitano Hakubaicho Station (Keifuku Electric Railroad).

The shop is located in a residential area. knot café has a white, natural-looking exterior and a sophisticated, spacious interior. The high ceilings and bare concrete walls, and the expresso machine and liqueur bottles lining the back of the counter area further create a refined atmosphere.

knot café

Picture courtesy of knot café

At knot café, be sure to try the Anko Butter Sandwich (363 yen including tax).

This treat features anko paired with butter, sandwiched between two tiny, round buns. The sweet, salty, and rich flavors are delicious with a cup of coffee!

The cafe owner is very particular about using bread and coffee from one of their favorite shops for the sandwich and the rest of the menu.

Be sure to stop in for a break during sightseeing in Kyoto.

2. Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop - East-Meets-West Sweets


Picture courtesy of Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop

Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop

Picture courtesy of Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop

Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop is between the entertainment district of Shijo Kawaramachi and the refined area of Gion.

It is conveniently located four minutes on foot from the closest station, Gion-Shijo Station (Keihan Electric Railway's Main Line). This shop, formerly a traditional Kyoto machiya (townhouse) that was renovated, blends well with Gion's historic surroundings.

The interior features wood as its decorative base, creating an atmosphere where visitors can experience modern Japanese sophistication.

Picture courtesy of Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop

Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop

Picture courtesy of Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop

The shop's most popular menu item is Anpone (600 yen not including tax). This confectionery offers a new taste sensation to diners with its sublime combination of anko and mascarpone cheese.

Fragrant with crispy texture from the two thin wafers, this treat combines smooth red bean paste with a homemade cream filling using mascarpone cheese. The refined sweetness of the azuki bean paste is an exquisite match for the slight tartness of the mascarpone cheese. This flavor collaboration between eastern and western confectionery offers a taste not found anywhere else.

There are other tasty and elegant sweets with anko, including the An Macaron (600 yen not including tax), and adorable mochi-filled Kyo Ohagi (600 yen not including tax).

Enjoy looking around the shop's beautiful red bean paste sweets in the Gion area.

3. Jumondo - Try The Mochi Dango Sweets


Picture courtesy of Jumondo

Jumondo is a famous sweets maker located near Kyoto City Bus Line's Kiyomizu-michi bus stop. Nearby are several famous sightseeing spots such as Gion's landmark, Yasaka Pagoda, and two places with elegant stone-covered paths, Sanneizaka and Nineizaka (also known as Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka respectively).

At Jumondo you can encounter Kyoto's characteristic atmosphere to your heart's content.


Picture courtesy of Jumondo

The shop's interior has a relaxed, Japanese-style atmosphere.

One of the most delightful selections at Jumondo are the dango sweets, featuring small mochi dumplings just 12 millimeters in diameter. Lightly grilled, these dango have a delicious aroma and work well to satisfy you if you're a bit hungry between meals.


Picture courtesy of Jumondo

The shop recommendation is Danraku (715 yen including tax).

This dish allows you to sample five different flavors of dango at once. Included flavors are textured red bean paste, isobeyaki (flavored with soy sauce and nori seaweed), mitarashi (a sweet and salty sauce made with soy sauce), black sesame-soy sauce, and Kyoto-style white miso. The Danraku set allows you to savor combinations of sweet and salty tastes, pleasing to all tastebuds.

You can also enjoy zenzai (red bean soup with baked mochi), mitsumame (a dessert served in a bowl with small cubes of agar jelly, azuki beans, shiratama dango, and various kinds of fruit), and other Japanese sweets filled with anko.

Take a Travel Break for Some Tasty Sweets!

These Kyoto shops all carry must-try red bean paste sweets and are all located near popular sightseeing spots. They are also easy and convenient to get to.

Take a break in your travels to enjoy Japanese sweets and relaxation in Kyoto!

Main picture courtesy of knot café
In cooperation with knot café, Kyoto Gion Anon Main Shop, and Jumondo

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京都在住のアラサー女子。カフェ巡りと紙モノ集めが趣味。 食べることがだいすきです。

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