Official

Koundo Honten

Ashikaga Specialty Sweets, Made by a Long-Established Shop with Over 150 Years of Experience

Wagashi (Japanese Sweets)

Ashikaga City, home of the historic “Ashikaga School” said to be the oldest school in Japan, is known for being a very academic area. However, did you know that it is also home to famous specialty sweets that exemplify the area’s qualities and characteristics?

One of these is a treat known as “koin monaka.” Monaka are a type of wagashi (Japanese sweets) made by wrapping red bean paste with a shell made of mochi. As its name suggests, “koin monaka” are a famous Ashikaga sweet because of their rectangular shape reminiscent of “koin,” old seals, related to parts of Ashikaga’s history like Ashikaga School and Bannaji Temple.

Koundo Honten is a long-established store that was founded back in 1868. They have been crafting the famous koin monaka for over 150 years, building up skills and knowledge along the way. Using adzuki beans from Tokachi to make red bean paste through the “ni-kuzushi method” passed down for generations results in a supremely rich flavor and deep sweetness. This paired with the aromatic homemade wafer shells makes for an amazing combination.

The paper used for wrapping contains writings from Mitsuo Aida, a famous Japanese calligrapher and poet, adding an extra layer of elegance. The monaka will keep for about one week at room temperature, so they make for great souvenirs.

Highlights

  • A classic Ashikaga sweet.
  • Iconic square shape that looks like old “koin” seals.
  • Deep flavors are built up through the “ni-kuzushi method” used in preparation that has been passed down for generations.
  • Wrapping paper features writings of Mitsuo Aida, a famous Japanese calligrapher and poet.

Photos

  • Koin monaka’s looks are based on the “koin” old seals used by the Ashikaga School and Bannaji Temple

    Koin monaka’s looks are based on the “koin” old seals used by the Ashikaga School and Bannaji Temple

  • Inside the shop. They sell other sweets such as senbei and dorayaki in addition to the koin monaka.

    Inside the shop. They sell other sweets such as senbei and dorayaki in addition to the koin monaka.

  • A long-established shop loved by both locals and wagashi fans alike

    A long-established shop loved by both locals and wagashi fans alike

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Details

Name in Japanese
香雲堂本店
Postal Code
326-0814
Address
4-2570 Tori, Ashikaga City, Tochigi
Telephone
0284-21-4964
Prices
Koin Monaka: 147 yen for 1, 500 yen for 3, 1080 yen for 7, 1404 yen for 9, 1699 yen for 11, 2160 yen for 14, 2808 yen for 18, 3397 yen for 22, 3947 yen for 26, 5479 yen for 36.
Closed
Open every day
Hours
9:00am-6:00pm
Access
(1) Approximately a 17-minute walk from the JR Ryomo Line’s Ashikaga Station
(2) Approximately a 15-minute walk from the Tobu Railway Isesaki Line’s Ashikagashi Station
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)