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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...


A famous spot many locals flock to in order to enjoy a dessert called (shio-daifuku) 塩大福 is called Surugaya.  What this is is a rice cake stuffed with salt-seasoned bean jam.  Actually, you can find these at almost any major supermarket in Japan.  


One of the most recognizable sweets in this country is the daifuku, it's one of the most common sweets foreign tourist get to try when sightseeing here and it's available through-out the year.  How about a real taste of Japan.....?  Nothing artificial about these.


I love these soft chewy little powdery desserts that go well with tea.   I posted this one because they taste better than most of  your store bought ones and are not factory made;all are made and rolled by  skilled hands.  You gotta appreciate tradition.  You have to appreciate waking up at 4am to ready everything, and to organize the racks and  ladles  that help create the finished product.   The rest is all skill and patience. 


I have a photo of this opened, but I saw no reason to post it.  Just beans.  Very powdery stuff so it's good to have a napkin.  Some Westerners may be put off by how ordinary these treats taste, but I think you have to appreciate the simplicity in how they look, and the subtle textures and at how easy they are to eat.



The shop is modern, but the techniques used to make this dessert are traditional.   If in and around Hase I recommend a quick stop over and have one.   They are closed on Wed. and Fri. 



It took me awhile to acquire a taste for these desserts, now I crave them and look forward to eating them whenever I'm out and about, especially with tea and some nice koto music.   I really truly believe that some things should never ever change. 


On a final note, many people who do decide to visit Japan and have  a chance to get out this way, Kamakura, and have a chance to stop through Hase then don't forget to stop by this shop.   It's listed as one of the must eat places and a true local shop, not some tourist traps.  It's a local stop. 


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