Mochi is one of Japan’s most loved treats. They come in various colors, forms, shapes, flavors, and sizes, but common to all are their distinct characteristics of being soft and chewy rice cakes with an often-sweet center.
It is common to find a shop or stall selling mochi in almost every corner of Japan – in subways stations, in depachika (department store food market section), and even at convenience stores. But if the best ones are what you’re after, you can never go wrong with specialty shops and restaurants. Tokyo has several of these establishments – here are the 10 best places to go for mochi desserts in Tokyo.
1. Seigetsudo (清月堂 本店) in Ginza
Seigetsudo Honten is a long-standing confectionery shop in Tokyo. Their flagship store in Ginza has been in operation since 1907 and for over a hundred years, they’ve been serving the public a wide array of traditional Japanese sweets like mochi. Among their selection, the Goma Mochi is one of their bestsellers – a bite-sized mochi with black sesame and azuki bean filling.
Aside from their store in Ginza, they also have stalls scattered all over Tokyo – in Shibuya Mark City, Daimaru Tokyo, and Tokyo Station Ichibangai, among many others. On the other hand, the second floor of their Ginza branch is also a café where you can enjoy matcha and mochi desserts. You may visit their website (address provided below) for more details.
5 min. walk from Higashi-Ginza Station
13 min. walk from Shimbashi Station
7-16-15 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Monday to Friday 9:30 am - 7 pm and 11 am - 5:30 pm (Ginza branch café)
Saturday 9:30 am - 6 pm
Closed on Sundays & Holidays
Price: ~ ¥999
Website: http://www.seigetsudo-honten.co.jp/ (Japanese only)
2. Kuuya (空也) in Ginza
Kuuya’s Monaka is extremely popular that you can’t buy one without a reservation. Monaka is not a mochi cake but is instead a Japanese sweet made of mochi flour wafers and an azuki bean filling. Lots of other dessert shops also make this type, but Kuuya’s is rather iconic because of its 131-year history – first served in 1884 and has been delighting generations of Tokyoites ever since.
3 min. walk from Ginza Station Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
6-7-19 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
Monday to Friday 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday 10 am - 4 pm
Closed on Sundays
Price: ~ ¥1000 to ¥1999
3. Mizuho (瑞穂) in Harajuku
Mizuho sells one of the best Mame Daifuku in Tokyo. It is often sold out by late afternoon and rightfully so. Compared to others in the market, their version of this mochi ball is generous – almost the size of a fist, with a rich and smooth consistency for the azuki bean paste inside. Just by holding one in your hand and judging by its size, weight, and tenderness, you can already tell that it’s of high quality. It’s definitely worth the buzz.
2 min. walk from Meiji-jingumae Station
6-8-7 Jingumae Shibuya Tokyo
Monday to Saturday 8:30 am until sold out
Price: ~ ¥999
4. Akebono (あけぼの) in Ginza
Ginza Akebono is a Japanese sweet shop that was established in Ginza in 1948 and continued its business since then. They established the shop at the time when Japan was scarce of sweet food because they were right after the war. Today, their strawberry daifuku mochi, which is limitedly sold from December to April every year, attracts many people from around the world. When you notice people gathering in front of the store, that is Ginza Akebono. Taste fresh strawberry inside a chewy mochi.
1 min. walk from Ginza Station
5-chome-7-19 Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo
Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Price: ~ ¥999
Website: http://www.ginza-akebono.co.jp/index.html (Japanese only)
5. Shiono (塩野) in Akasaka
Shiono is highly regarded for their seasonal creations. Their sweets are works of edible art that are too beautiful to eat, but at the same time too delicious not to. They always give their customers something to look forward to with the change of the seasons.
Along with these fancy limited editions, they also offer mochi sweets and other Japanese dessert staples to enjoy all year long. For instance, their Mame Daifuku is definitely loved by their customers.
1 min. walk from Akasaka Station Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
2 chome-13-2 Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo
Monday to Friday 9 am - 7 pm
Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays 9 am - 5 pm
Price: ~ ¥999
Website: http://www.siono.jp/ (Japanese only)
6. Oiwake Dango Honpo (追分だんご本舗) in Shinjuku
Dango are Japanese dumplings made of the same type of Japanese sticky rice used for mochi. Technically not mochi, but the two are similar enough to be generally considered one and the same. Oiwake in Shinjuku is a great place to sample this type of dessert. They have a nice selection of sweet and savory pastes, and you can order a set menu of two Dango skewers and tea.
3 min. walk from Shinjukusanchome Station Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
3-1-22 Shinjuku Shinjuku, Tokyo
Monday to Sunday 10 am – 8:30 pm
Closed on New Year’s Day
Price: ~ ¥999
Website: http://www.oiwakedango.co.jp (Japanese only)
8. Gekkou (月光) in Ueno
Gekkou in Ueno is a rare shop focused on Japanese tea and freshly made mochi. Here, you can taste their homemade mochi in Japanese home-cooking style. Such as kinako-mochi, goma-mochi, radish mochi, etc. Not only mochi but also they have various desserts such as matcha ice cream. Don't forget to taste their exquisite Japanese tea and matcha.
3 min. walk from JR Uguisudani Station
3 Chome-7-18 Negishi, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Monday to Friday 12 pm - 7:30 pm
Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays 12 pm - 7 pm
Closed on Wednesdays
Price: ~ ¥1,000
8. Sentaro (仙太郎) in Ikebukuro
Also from Kyoto and equally refined, Sentaro delivers only the finest and delectable traditional Japanese confections. Their products are known for using only natural ingredients – no preservatives and artificial colors, and not using much sugar. For their mochi, check out their seasonal Uguisu Mochi, a mochi cake made with green soybean powder. It is named after a Japanese bird associated with the coming of spring, and is usually made available from January to February.
1 min. walk from JR Ikebukuro Station
1F Tobu Department Store Main Building
1-1-25 Nishiikebukuro Toshima Tokyo
Monday to Saturday 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday 10 am - 8 pm
Price: ~ ¥999
Website: http://www.sentaro.co.jp (Japanese only)
9. Shiroi Kuro (しろいくろ) in Azubu Juban
Shiroi Kuro is a concept dessert café that focuses on Japanese sweets and pastries made with black soybeans. They use only high-quality beans sourced from Tamba in Kyoto, and they are most popular for their Shiomame Daifuku – salted mochi with black soybean paste for the filling. It is best paired with Kuromame Cha, a tea that hints of black soybean aroma.
To go perfectly with their classy menu, the café boasts of nice interiors. Its minimalist design goes well with their “white/black” concept, derived from the literal meaning of Shiroi Kuro, as well as the dominant color palette of their creations.
7 min. walk Azubu Juban Station Tokyo Metro Nanbuko Line
2-8-1 Azabujuban Minato Tokyo
Monday to Sunday 10 am - 6 pm
Price: ~ ¥999
Website: http://www.shiroikuro.com (Japanese only)
10. Momotarou (桃太郎) in Asakusa
Momotarou is a small neighborhood shop near Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. It is famous for its Yakidango, grilled Dango rice balls dipped in soy sauce. These savory desserts make for good walking companions while exploring Asakusa’s touristy streets.
5 min. walk from Tawaramachi Station Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
2-13-10 Nishiasakusa Taito Tokyo
Monday to Sunday 9:30 am - 6 pm
Sometimes closed on Wednesdays
Website: https://twitter.com/AsakusaMomotaro (Japanese only)
Would you like to try making mochi?
You can participate in a cooking class to make Japanese dessert including mochi! This wagashi cooking class enables you to make wagashi and learn history and cooking techniques. Of course, you can sample the wagashi you made in the end of the class! Why don't you learn to cook mochi by yourself?Wagashi cooking class in Tokyo (View at Voyagin)
Thumbnail image is from Flickr