Japanese-style hospitality and services

Savor wagashi (traditional Japanese confections) that expresses the scenery of the four seasons and brings out the best flavors of the seasonal ingredients at "Toraya Karyo"

2017.03.08

Come take a break at the tea room of "Toraya" packed with Japan's tradition and vogue



Main Building Basement 1st Floor



Wagashi, traditional Japanese confections. It comes in all kinds of shapes and flavors, including mochigashi (mochi-based sweets), yokan (gelled sweet bean paste made chiefly of azuki beans, sugar, and agar-agar), manju (most are made an outside made with flour, rice powder, buckwheat with an azuki bean filling), monaka (sweets with azuki bean filling sandwiched between two thin crisp wafers made from sticky-rice), rakugan (candy made with rice flour and sugar), and senbei (rice cracker).

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"Toraya" located on the Isetan Shinjuku Store 1st floor basement is a prestigious wagashi shop that was founded in Kyoto in the late Muromachi Period (1336 - 1573). The most coveted product is "yokan." It is made by carefully working through the mixture that contains sugar added to azuki beans simmered in the subsoil water of Mt. Fuji with great patience. The name "Toraya" is known to a wide range of generations, to the extent that the name is equivalent to "yokan."

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Crafting confectionery at "Toraya" starts with making a paste called "An." There are various types of an, such as koshian (smooth azuki bean paste passed through a sieve), shiroan (white azuki bean paste), and oguraan (koshian mixed with azuki beans pickled in honey). The consistency and the sweetness are carefully adjusted for each confectionery that is made.
The traditional taste is daily made by using the five senses of the artisans.

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Front of the photo: "Yoru no Ume" (Night Plum) is one of the most popular products at "Toraya."
When sliced, the azuki beans in the yokan evoke the glimmer of white plum blossoms in the dark night, which inspired the sentimental name. It has an elegant sweetness with a pleasant texture of the red beans.
Center of the photo: The yokan "Omokage" (Reminiscence) is made with korozato sugar, dark brown sugar from Iriomote Island in Okinawa Prefecture.
The name "Omokage" refers to something that is reminiscent of people and things in your memory. The unrefined dark brown sugar similar to molasses awakens nostalgia for an earlier era in Japan.
Back of the photo: "Shimmidori: Verdue," a yokan with a deep green color.
The delicate aroma of matcha (powdered green tea) soothes the heart and mind.

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The "petite yokan," a pocket-sized petite bar that is convenient to bring around is popular for souvenirs.
The 15th proprietor of Toraya, Mr. Takeo Kurokawa invented it.
Mr. Kurokawa had longed to "create a confectionery many people can casually purchase." He was deeply moved by the size and modern design of a makeup case from France to store perfumes and created the new shape for the petite yokan. As the package was inspired by perfume, it is a simple and yet graceful design.

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The "petit yokan" is also sold in limited packages every season.
This package that expresses the spring with delicate cherry blossoms is a limited edition until early April. It is a cheerful and fanciful design perfect for a gift that is sure to make the receiver smile.

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If you can't wait to try these special confections, we invite you to come to "Toraya Karyo," a tea room next to "Toraya" on the 1st floor basement at Isetan Shinjuku.

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The interior of "Toraya Karyo" is a chic and modern decor with lighting adjusted to maintain the ideal brightness to offer a relaxing environment. It is perfect for a little break.

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The tea room also has an English menu. Please don't hesitate to ask a staff if you have questions about the ingredients or want to know what kind of confectionery a product is.

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"Seasonal yokan."
"Seasonal yokan" is tailored to Japan's season and events and can only be eaten during that period.
In spring, the yokan is decorated with cherry blossoms and the Feast of Dolls and in autumn, you will see motifs based on autumn leaves and the moon. Voguish designs from each season are contained in the precious petit gem.
The combination of wagashi with Japanese tea such as matcha and sencha (a type of Japanese green tea) is wonderful, but try pairing "Toraya"'s yokan with coffee. You will be surprised by how well it pairs. The refined fragrance and bitterness gently washes your palate after enjoying the delicate sweetness of yokan.

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"Anmitsu."
This fabulous dessert pairs kohakukan (kanten jelly made with agar-agar colored with dried gardenia fruit) and colored kanten (agar-agar jelly) that changes each season with koshian made with azuki beans from Hokkaido
You eat it by pouring an ample serving of kuromitsu (black sugar syrup).
The slightly salty taste of endo beans and kuromame (black beans) with robust flavor adds the perfect accent.
The slightly firm koshian's smooth texture and rich sweetness unfold in your mouth.

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"Toraya"'s wagashi - The classic yokan and many other special confectioneries that expresses the scenery of the four seasons that brings out the best flavors of the seasonal ingredients. Come enjoy wagashi, the embodiment of the "essence" of all aspects of Japanese culture and the climate, lifestyle and taste of the past eras in Japan.

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