Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Demachi Futaba is an about 200 years old, extremely popular traditional sweets shop near Demachi-yanagi Station in Kyoto. In fact it is so famous and popular that there are long waiting-lines every day. But don't shy away from the line, your patience will definitely be rewarded !
Demachi Futaba was founded the year 1823 and has been making Japanese confections (wagashi) using traditional methods ever since. The shop won many awards at the Japanese Confectionary Competition in Japan and has been chosen as the most delicious wagashi for the fourth year in a row at the Japanese Confectionery Competition in Kyoto. So, definitely a must-visit for sure!
There are about 10 types of sweets for sale on any given day. As most kinds of mochi (rice cake) are usually made without any milk or eggs, even people with lactose intolerance and vegans can eat Demachi Futaba´s products safely. There are a few exemptions, but they are marked clearly with 乳 (dairy) and 卵 (egg) on the signs. One of the non-vegan ones are mochi with white beans inside, so be careful if it is an issue for you.
Demachi Futaba's most popular item is mamemochi, a kind of rice cake with salted black beans inside the chewy outside-part and a sweet filling of anko, which is delicious red bean paste, on the inside. They are the best mamemochi I ever ate, so you should try them, too. By the way, if you're not a fan of too much sweetness you should still try it as the salted black beans balance out the sweetness.
I also love their kusamochi which is a green rice cake with anko inside. The green color comes from yomogi, a very healthy herb good for digestion. Kusamochi tastes a little bit bitter and herb-like on the outside, but the sweet anko filling balances everything out perfectly. To me this is a very "Japanese" taste.
In autumn I love their mochi with kuri (chestnut)! Definitely a recommendation!
I personaly am a huge fan of dango. The most famous kind of dango probably is hanami dango. That is the one with three colors, namely pink, white, and green combined on one skewer. You can find it at Demachi Futaba, too, if you come early enough as it seems to sell out quickly. I wasn't lucky yet BUT instead I found something even better:
How pretty is this dango with eatable glitter on it?! And not only that, it also was the yummiest dango I ever had! The consistency was just perfect. Very chewy and "mochimochi", but also pretty firm. 100 times better than those at the konbini or supermarket (although I love those too lol).
Another delicous wagashi is ohagi, which basically is anko with rice around it. It's not sticky but still very delicious!
They have many other kinds which change seasonally. Let me know in the comments which you found and liked best :)
As no preservatives are used, it is recommended that you eat your sweets right away. But I doubt you can resist eating them all at once anyways ;)
How to order:
While you're standing in line, you can already have a look at the signs and the counter where you can find the items´ names and descriptions. Don't worry if you can't read Japanese, just choose by which one looks most delicious to you^^ As you get closer to the front part of the line, staff will ask you which products and how many you would like to buy. If you don't know the items name, just show them or describe it. After you paid, you will receive your confections neatly packaged.
What I love:
most items are vegan
Important to know:
except to stand in line for at least 15 to 30 minutes
you need to eat the sweets right away
everything is written in Japanese only (but you can point at which items you want)
Price Range: 160〜270¥
Opening Times: 8:30 - 17:30 (closed on Tuesdays
Address: Japan, 〒602-0822 Kyoto, Kamigyo Ward, 出町 今出川上ル青龍町236
By Train: Demachiyanagi Station (Keihan Railway). From there it is 7 minutes by foot, across the river.
By Bus: Kyoto City Bus, Aoibashi Nishizumie bus stop. 2 min by foot from there.
Kawaramachi Imadegawa bus stop. 3 min by foot from there.
Check out my Kyoto Sightseeing x Vegan Food Guides:
Sightseeing and other Shops near-by Demachi Futaba
The Origin of Mitarashi-dango: Shimogamo Shrine
Vegan Bakery Apelila
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