The Best Souvenirs and Food at Nakamise Dori

by Christian Monson

The 15 Best Souvenirs and Food to Buy at Nakamise Dori

Candy and Sweets

Candies make for tasty treats while browsing the shopping street, and they can also be souvenirs. There are a number of options on Nakamise Dori, too, ranging from strange, exotic traditional Japanese candies to standard sweets even your little kids will appreciate.

A traditional Japanese candy that makes for a great edible souvenir is Amezaiku. This is a traditional Japanese culinary artform that results in intricate candy sculptures that look as if they were blown from glass. The candies often look like animals and are painted with edible dyes to look even more stunning. You’ll probably feel guilty eating the amazing work of art, but don’t worry. Amezaiuku practitioners can make hundreds a day!

Yokan is another traditional sweet you can buy readily on Nakamise Dori. It’s a jelly ball—or cube—made from red bean paste. This paste is the traditional sweetener in Japan and considerably milder than Western sweeteners like sugar and high fructose corn syrup. You can find many varieties on Nakamise Dori, including imo yokan made from sweet potatoes, shio yokan with salt and mizu yokan which is made with extra water and chilled in the summer. If your kids balk at the lack of sweetness, you can get modern versions with sugar and honey too.

Besides these, there are plenty more candies to find as well. Many come in colorful designs and pretty boxes that can help you remember your trip, even after you eat the candy.

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