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    Every bean is a gem

    A mere drop. A slight touch. A quick second…
    And a delicious bean is made.

    The poetry of beans is only understood by
    real craftsmen, and beans’ true flavor can only be discovered through
    traditional techniques.

    The history of bean sweets dates back to
    Edo period (1603-1867), which means that their taste has been refined by
    generations of skilled craftsmen.

    Kawagoe, also known as Little Edo, is the
    city of traditional Japanese confectionery, wagashi.

    Wagashi are delicious as a part of every day’s
    meal, as a dessert, and also make a perfect gift.

    Enjoy a treat that combines the best of traditional
    and modern recipes.

    The beloved wagashi and the evolutionof Japanese culture

    Expressing the eternal change of seasons,
    exploring the taste of every single season, celebrating life's milestones, praying
    for good fortune. All of these things are associated with wagashi in Japanese

    Wagashi industry experienced a rapid
    development after the turbulent era of wars ended and the peaceful Edo period
    (1603-1867) began.

    Sugar, which used to be a luxury item, finally
    became accessible, and various types of wagashi were created all over the

    The founder of the Edo Shogunate, Ieyasu
    Tokugawa, himself loved wagashi, and so did an ukiyo-e artist Katsushika
    Hokusai. If we trace even further back in history, the first descriptions of
    wagashi can be found in the writings of Lady Murasaki.

    Thus, over the centuries wagashi has found
    a place in the hearts and minds of Japanese people, and still to this day they
    are loved and they continue to evolve.

    A castle town wherecraftsmen gathered

    Kawagoe, also known as Little Edo, has preserved
    beautiful cobblestone streets and warehouses from the olden days. Back then it
    was a castle town where commerce developed rapidly due to the proximity of
    Shingashi River that connected it to Edo, the capital.

    Wagashi made by Kawagoe craftsmen
    eventually became popular with the citizens of Edo.

    As branches of different confectionary
    shops started to open, the number of wagashi types has also increased, and by
    early Meiji period (1868 – 1912) the Candy Alley (Kashiya Yokocho) was born.

    At its golden age there were 70 shops along
    the Candy Alley, but the number has decreased due to mass production by major
    manufacturers and an increase in popularity of Western sweets. Yet luckily,
    thanks to the support of all the people who love the Candy Alley, it has now
    been revived and the craftsmen can make wagashi again.

    By preserving the traditional techniques
    and taking into account the lives of modern people, new Kawagoe wagashi were

    Beans, the essentialwagashi ingredient

    Wagashi includes namagashi (“fresh
    sweets”), han namagashi (“half-dry sweets”) and higashi (“dry
    sweets”), but beans are an essential ingredient in all of them.

    Adzuki and other beans are boiled with
    sugar and then lightly mashed, after which they are cooked with soy sauce and
    sugar until soft, and at last they are pickled in honey. The result is called amanattō.
    It can be eaten as is or cooked. It is easy to store, easy to transport, and
    above all it is highly nutritious.

    Koedo Mameya has been dedicated to amanattō
    since its founding.
    Using beans from all over the world and the
    help of our skillful craftsmen, Koedo Mameya produces more than 100 types of
    bean sweets.

    Unique Chichibu beans and the revival of themythical bean

    Japan has many stories about beans. Here is
    one of them.

    About 100 years ago, when Chichibu
    region was suffering from poverty, efforts were made to improve the variety of
    local soybeans. The new bean received the name of the "Chichibu debt-free”
    soybean. It was extremely rich in flavor (due to amino acids) and sweetness (due
    to sucrose) *, and it is said to have saved the region from poverty.

    *Sucrose content ranks among the top five
    among over 60 soybean varieties.

    However, because “Chichibu debt-free”
    soybeans were not suitable for mechanical harvesting, eventually there was no
    one left who could grow them. Thus, in the modern times they turned into a
    mythical bean.

    Koedo Mameya has revived the cultivation of
    this bean together with contracted farmers, and the mythical beans has
    successfully become one of our products.

    Since Koedo Mameya has been founded in
    1949, we have always cherished our craftsmen and our techniques, always training
    our craftsmen’s skills. And that is why we were able to make the myth come