[Feature] Kineya Karyo! Café with Japanese sweets
Kineya Karyo is a Japanese café run by a long-established confectionery with a history of over 212 years.
Since opening in April 2023, it has quickly become a hot spot.
I heard that they also have some sweets that you can make yourself, so I immediately went to visit the shop.
1. Kineya Karyo
Kineya Karyo renovated the former Kineya Aota store and opened in April 2023.
The concept of the shop is the owners’ strong determination to further convey the appeal of confectionery by leveraging the traditions and techniques inherited since their founding, and adding a new essence to them.
There is a large parking lot in front of the shop.
You can also enter the café directly from the south entrance without passing through the shop.
This time, let’s enter from the main entrance on the east side.
2. Inside the shop
I was greeted by a voice saying “Welcome” and entered the shop.
The interior is bright and calm, with soft music playing.
The shop is on the right and the café corner is on the left.
This time, we were guided by Kouto Kanno, the head of the planning office.
・A space that pursues comfort and pays attention to detail!
The café space is colored brown and gray with white as the base.
At the counter seats, you can spend a relaxing time while enjoying being alone.
The display of Japanese café-like tableware is also wonderful.
Chairs that give priority to comfort are made by Tendo Mokko.
The table is also custom-made to match the height of the chairs, and the space is stripped of unnecessary items to create a comfortable atmosphere.
It seems that the sofa was made to resemble Kineya’s “one-star mark”.
The one-star mark means yokan (sweet bean jelly) and steamed buns (○).
A space by the window that seems to make you stay longer
“Even if people come to a confectionery shop, the time they spend there is short. We wanted to create a place where people could come and relax, whether they have something to do or not.” (Mr. Kanno)
3. Kineya Main Shop started by selling manju to worshipers.
The Kineya Main Shop, which runs Kineya Karyo, was founded in 1811 in Miyauchi, Nanyo City.
This area is home to the Kumano Taisha Shrine, which is known as the “Ise Shrine of the East,” and at the time, it was visited by many more worshipers than it is today.
This shop began by making and selling manju to the worshipers.
In the Meiji era, the company’s signature product became Ren Yokan.
Knead carefully and thoroughly for 2 hours, then add agar and continue kneading…
The degree of heat and kneading affect the taste.
In the 1950s, out of 50 craftsmen, only two were allowed to make yokan.
The situation around 1920
In 1930, Café-Kineya was opened behind the main shop near the shrine, offering Western food, desserts, and alcohol, which were very rare at the time.
This history is also linked to the background of the birth of Kineya Karyo.
It now has 15 stores in the prefecture and is widely known as one of Yamagata’s leading confectionery stores, but it seems that it has faced various difficulties over the years.
We will continue to protect our traditions while facing challenges, and continue to meet the needs of our customers while responding to the changing times.
This attitude has not changed even after more than 200 years.
4. Bean paste making technology that brings out the maximum flavor of azuki beans
When you think of Kineya, you think of anko (red bean paste).
The shop continues to focus on making homemade bean paste using inherited techniques.
Because it requires large-scale equipment and is time-consuming, only about 10% of confectionery shops nationwide use homemade filling.
In particular, the process of making koshian paste involves many steps, from peeling to boiling, filtering, kneading, etc., and requires a lot of effort.
The skill of experienced craftsmen is to determine the temperature and humidity on the day of making the bean paste and bring out the maximum flavor of the red beans.
The red beans used as ingredients are from Hokkaido. The carefully selected beans are from the Tokachi region, which is said to be of the highest quality, so you can enjoy the clear deliciousness of high-quality red beans without any unpleasant tastes.
5. Japanese sweets and tea with the essence of the experience
① Dorayaki plate to enjoy in your own way
There are Japanese sweets on the menu that you’ll want to try.
This time, I decided to try some sweets that can only be eaten here.
Dorayaki plate 990 yen (tax included)
I ordered the dorayaki plate.
Sandwich the fluffy skin with as much koshian paste, red bean paste, and fresh cream as you like.
Fill it with plenty of crunchy texture.
It is popular with children as they not only can fully enjoy the deliciousness of red bean paste but also experience the fun of making it themselves.
② Freshly squeezed Mont Blanc with a shelf life of 10 to 15 minutes
Freshly squeezed Mont Blanc 1,540 yen (tax included)
This Mont Blanc is a fluffy and crispy caramel meringue that has been slowly baked at low heat, wrapped in fresh cream, and topped with a generous amount of marron paste made from the finest Japanese chestnuts from Ehime Prefecture.
1mm thin marron paste in front of you. I was excited even before I ate it.
The reason we set an expiration date is because we want you to enjoy the crunchy texture of caramel meringue.
Since the marron paste is squeezed while incorporating air, the marron paste itself becomes fluffy and has a stronger chestnut flavor.
The sweetness of the marron paste and caramel meringue is well-balanced, and the texture is light, so even one person can easily enjoy it!
These are our recommended sweets that you should come and try.
In addition, there are original menu items such as the Raw Ripple Pie Plate, which is a mille-feuille version of Kineya’s famous confectionery, Ripple Pie, with walnut filling and fresh cream.
③ With the finest tea
There is a wide variety of drinks that you can enjoy with sweets, such as Scandinavian black tea, Tsuki coffee blended coffee, and warabimochi drinks.
This time we selected Japanese tea.
Premium Hojicha 660 yen (tax included) *3 infusions
The Japanese tea we offer here is of the highest quality, purchased from Ippodo Tea Shop in Kyoto, which has a history of 300 years.
This style allows you to brew your own tea so that you can enjoy the charm and taste of Japanese tea even more.
“Once you’ve filled the teapot halfway, let it steep for 30 seconds. For the second and third brews, pour the tea without steaming,” says the staff, who will give you tips on how to make a delicious cup.
Pour thoroughly until the last drop.
Hojicha, characterized by its aroma and slightly seaweed sweetness, is a special cup that should be enjoyed carefully.
6. After relaxing at the café, head to the shop
There are many types of sweets lined up in the showcase, from classics to new sweets.
Fresh sweets that decorate the season.
Creative yokan Hoshiai no Sora inspired by the night sky of Tanabata.
The wooden weights that were used in the past are used as furniture, making it a wonderful display that gives you a sense of history.
You can also purchase the Shinjo Higashiyama ware, Hirashimizu ware, and Shigaraki ware used in the café.
There are also cute Kineya original goods.
At Kineya Karyo, they would like to propose ways to enjoy life.
Lastly, Mr. Kanno gave a message to the viewers of VISIT YAMAGATA.
“A wide range of customers from 0 to 100 years old come to our store. Enjoy delicious sweets and tea while relaxing in a relaxing space. We offer a variety of suggestions to make everyone excited.”
CAFE: 10:00~18:00 [last order at 17:00]
4-1-40 Higashiaota, Yamagata City
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