The Story of Konpeito, Japan’s Favourite Colourful Sweet



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This traditional sweet can be found on tables at parties and other celebrations. Konpeito, this little colourful, star-shaped sweet, actually comes from Portugal. It was first introduced in Japan in 1546 by missionaries and merchants from Europe.

Since then, its popularity has never waned. Small and cute, konpeito comes in various flavours and is always made by hand, following a recipe which hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. The artisans use a base of sticky rice transformed into granules, irako, mixed with sugar. The process is repeated several times. It takes 2-3 weeks of hard work to produce the sweets.

In Kyoto, there’s a place which specialises in konpeito: Ryokujuan Shimizu. The shop offers 50 different flavours, from cherry to soda via chocolate and coconut. It respects seasonal produce and showcases a different fruit or vegetable every month.


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Ryokujuan Shimizu

382Yoshidaizumidonocho, Sakyo Ward, 606-8301 Kyoto

+81 75-771-0755