Americans know the kudzu vine as a highly invasive plant, but at this shop in Yoshinoyama, the root of the vine is the main ingredient for the two dishes they serve here: kuzukiri noodles, and kuzumochi. The other ingredient is water. These two ingredients combine to make a dessert which has to be eaten within 10 minutes - now that’s fast food!
Head chef Nakai-san actually demonstrates the making of these two desserts for every batch of orders, and his love and enthusiasm for kudzu root really shines through each time. You don’t need to understand Japanese to see how much he loves sharing it with people too. These desserts aren't the easiest to love, since they’re more about texture than about looks or taste, but Nakai-san’s explanation will charm you into trying them. You might even fall in love with kudzu!
This modern Zen space is all about the local specialties, kuzu kiri and kuzu mochi. After you order, you will be invited to come to the kitchen window to watch your sweets being made, as the chef explains the process. It is quite magical to watch the kudzu starch turning into a sparkling jelly. You can enjoy your sweets with tea and a view over the mountains. There are many stylishly packaged kudzu souvenirs, which make nice gifts.
Kudzu specialist shop Nakai Shunpudo
●Address/545 Yoshinoyama, Yoshino, Yoshino-gun
●Hours/10:00 - 17:00 (Open only on Saturdays and Sundays in winter)
◆Access/From Ropeway Yoshinoyama Station:- 10 minutes on foot from the station.
Nearby spot information
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