These Japanese Red Bean Desserts Are Almost Always Sold Out

Be sure to try one while you're in Japan.

, a wagashi or Japanese confectionery that has azuki bean paste sandwiched between two sponge cakes, is one of the most popular desserts in Japan. Want to know what the hype is all about? Below are three dorayaki specialty shops that you can visit during your trip to Japan.

DOU in Kawasaki
Atre Kawasaki 3F, 26-1 Ekimae Honcho, Kawasaki Ward, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa
Contact: +81-44-276-8663
Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
How to get there: It’s a short walk from the Central Gate of the JR Kawasaki Station, or a 3-minute walk from the Central Exit of the Keikyu Kawasaki Station. DOU is in Atre Kawasaki which is connected to Kawasaki Station.

Established in February 2018, DOU is the first-ever dorayaki specialty shop that opened in Kanagawa. While this sweets shop operated by BAKE is famous in Tokyo for its nama dorayaki (a variant that uses fruit-flavored cream as filling), their Kanagawa branch is better known for kawaii omelette-style dorayaki--a genius innovation that you can conveniently eat with one hand.

DOU’s nama dorayaki comes in strawberry (¥324, limited edition), matcha (¥270), and original (¥270) flavors.

Know what makes DOU’s dorayaki stand out? According to Kosuke Haga of the PR team, their batter is special because the egg whites and the egg yolks are whisked separately, unlike in regular dorayaki. By doing so, they incorporate air in the batter to make it as fluffy as a sponge cake should be. The result: Dorayaki that is soft and has a light and smooth fresh filling in the middle.

For their plain or original-flavored dorayaki, DOU uses azuki bean paste sourced from Miyabi that’s made out of carefully selected beans from Tokachi and gyuuhi (a chewy Japanese confectionery created from mocha rice). This particular ingredient adds a unique Japanese flavor, making the dorayaki a fusion of Japanese and Western tastes.

Wagaashi Hana in Hayama
Hayama Atelier 2F, 943-1 Isshiki, Hayama Town, Miura District, Kanagawa
Contact: +81-46-875-4101?
Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
How to get there: It’s approximately a 10-minute bus ride from the JR Zushi Station East Exit, and a 7-minute walk from the Isshiki Elementary School Bus Stop.

Even since their nama dorayaki was featured on television, Wagashi Hana has grown a more avid customer base to the point that their desserts are almost always sold out. Among their best sellers are the sandan gasane, which has a mixed filling of high quality fresh matcha cream and azuki bean cream, and their limited-edition nama dorayaki which uses fresh strawberry from Hiroaki Strawberry Farm in Yokosuka.

Sandan gasane (¥230) is a dorayaki with matcha cream and azuki bean cream.

Seasonal Strawberry Nama Dorayaki (¥230) which has the perfect balance of sourness and sweetness.

Everything, from the menu items to the details of the shop, is carefully curated by the owner who used to be a pastry chef. Little personal touches and practices, like baking the sponge cake on a copper pan one by one, just shows how the owner is passionate in creating quality wagashi for their customers.

Located on the second floor of Hayama Atelier in Kanagawa, Wagashi Hana can be distinguished by this warmly colored signage.

Saka Azukiya in Tama Plaza
New Life Building 1F, 2-18-9 Utsukushigaoka, Aoba Ward, Yokohama City, Kanagawa
Contact: +81-45-901-8692
Open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except on Tuesdays.
How to get there: It’s a 7 minute-walk from the north exit of Tama Plaza Station on the Tokyu Denentoshi Line.

Born to a family that runs a Japanese confectionery shop in Toyama Prefecture and having been trained at many shops for a long time, the owner of Saka Azukiya is definitely not new to the dorayaki game. At Saka Azukiya, they take pride in their traditional, homemade nama dorayaki, which is filled with original azuki bean paste, unlike the two former shops that put their own modern spin on the Japanese dessert.

Saka Azukiya’s nama dorayaki variants (plain, matcha, and coffee flavor) are priced at ¥216. All flavors have azuki bean paste in the middle.  

In addition to the three main flavors, they also sell strawberry-flavored nama dorayaki (¥226) for a limited time (until April 30, 2018).

Provided by Yokohama Walker™, Japan Walker™, and Walkerplus™ (27 March 2018)

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