Ginza Akebono

Best wagashi shops and cafés in Tokyo

Dainty teatime sweets, wagashi is the ultimate in food artistry. Here's where to buy or enjoy these Japanese desserts

By Mayumi Koyama
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The beautiful wagashi are the perfect accompaniment to your cup of tea. Made from just a few simple key ingredients – mochi, bean paste, jelly, seasonal fruit and flowers – these traditional sweets are turned into stunning works of (edible) art in the hands of a skillful master.

But do you know there are nine basic types of wagashi? Besides the very pretty wanama, there's also dorayaki, dango, monaka, daifuku and more. Our photo menu will get you acquianted with these confections.

After which, visit these top places in Tokyo where you can get a gift-ready box of wagashi to go, or sit down for a calming tea session paired with these gorgeous sweets. 

Where to buy wagashi

Toraya Tokyo Midtown

Restaurants Pâtisseries Roppongi

Toraya is synonymous with wagashi; the establishment boasts a rich heritage dating back to the early-sixteenth century when it was founded in Kyoto. This Toraya branch comprises a shop selling fresh confectionery, a café, and a gallery featuring a rotating exhibition on Japanese culture.

Ginza Akebono

Shopping Ginza

This is the main store of one of Tokyo’s most renowned wagashi shops, located in the centre of Ginza, across from the Wako building. It offers a variety of traditional sweets including dorayaki, ohagi and rice crackers. Get your strawberry daifuku here when it’s in season. 

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Higashiya Ginza

Restaurants Tea rooms Ginza

Come here for the complete experience: seasonal wagashi over seasonal brews. This tea salon is an expert in putting a fresh new twist on traditional Japanese confectionery, and you’ll be spoilt for choice with over 40 varieties of tea on their menu.

Newoman-Ekinaka

Shopping Shinjuku

Inside the ticket gates of JR Shinjuku’s New South Exit, numerous food shops are strategically placed for you to pick up some last minute gifts before boarding the train. Among them, Yui offers delicate and artistic wagashi, including a yokan bearing the image of Mt Fuji (when cut into slices). You should also look out for Ninigi’s fresh fruit daifuku.

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Kugenuma Shimizu

Shopping Ginza

This sweet shop is helmed by Japanese chef Katsunori Shimizu, who also runs a famed French restaurant in Kanagawa. This Ginza Six outpost offers creative wagashi and other confectionery that fuse Japanese and Western influences.

Takashimaya Shinjuku Store

Shopping Shinjuku

This mega-sized department store, right next to JR Shinjuku Station’s New South Exit, is a one-stop shop housing fashion boutiques and restaurants. You’ll find confectioneries on the first basement floor; we particularly liked the colourful dango at Koganean and the manju at Okano Eisen.

Your ultimate wagashi photo menu

Find more sweets in Tokyo

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Bookable classes

byfood traditional wagashi class
Photo: Serkan Toso

Traditional Japanese Sweets, Wagashi and Mochi Class

Things to do Shinjuku

You can’t visit Japan without trying some dainty sweets. These tiny, intricately-decorated desserts, called wagashi, are actually traditional delicacies with a long history. Learn how to make these artistic treats in a two-and-a-half hour class where you’ll learn how to make nerikiri wagashi, daifuku mochi and dango mochi from making the dough to cutting out tiny flowers and arranging the mochi. 

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