A 1000 year old Shrine:
A few days ago, while visiting Daitoku temple in Northern Kyoto. I stumbled upon a Imamiya Shrine. It was rapidly getting dark and the paper lanterns, new-years decorations on the Kaguraden, where glowing in the dark. There where still some worshipers who came to pray for blessings in the coming year. There are two entrances to the temple, the main gate on the main street and from the parking lot. Coming from the parking lot, the road leading to the shrine, is lined with two peculiar shops. They sell Aburi-mochi (あぶり餅) or Roasted Rice Cakes.
What is Aburi-mochi?
Aburi-mochi are roasted rice cakes made of rice flour dough, rolled in kinako powder and then charcoal grilled and served dipped in a sweet miso sauce! You get 16 skewers for 600 yen! Kinako (黄粉), also known as roasted soybean flour or the Japanese people call it “yellow flower”.
The “Kazariya” and “Ichiwa” shops:
Kazariya and Ichiwa have been around a long time, Kazariya boasts 600 years and Ichiwa a whopping 1000 years. The Ichiwa store was founded just a little bit after the shrine was founded here. The main difference between the two shops is that Ichiwa’s mochi sauce is a bit sweeter and not as roasted as Kazariya’s mochi. It has been said that the two shops don’t get along, but to have been open together for over 600 years is a feat in itself. Go and try some, its a romantic experience if you go around dusk!