« Location, location and location »


The motto of real estate professionals applies to well to Shintsuru, located in Shimosuwa at the exact crossing of the Nakasendo and the Koshukaido, two of the ancient routes of feudal Japan, used by peddlers and daimyos migrating between Edo and their fief. The house stands against the ground of beautiful Akimiya, part of Suwa Taisha (Suwa grand shrine).

Founded in 1874, it continues to live from yokan, a traditional confectionary, pillar of the older and better known Toraya group. Their yokan is made of azuki and kanten, manually knead and mixed in a cauldron heating on an oak wood fire. The azuki red beans today comes from Tokachi in Hokkaido (where I am heading to next week) and the kanten (similar to agar-agar, a vegetal gelling agent) from its historical birthplace in nearby Chino. We visited the factory in February 2015 (picture). To be different, Shintsuru introduced a generous pinch of salt in the recipe, a very precious commodity in Suwa in ancient times. To be tried.

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