Tokyoites could be forgiven for thinking Toraya is theirs as it has been based in Tokyo for more than a century. This famous teahouse and confectioner, however, has its origins in Kyoto. When the capital moved to Tokyo, Toraya followed suit, moving its operational base both to curry favor with the Emperor and to get more people to “eat cake.”

The cake, or sweets to be more precise, on offer are strictly wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) and the menu is divided between seasonal offerings, such as kashiwa mochi (sweet bean paste enfolded by a gelatinous rice cake and wrapped in an oak leaf), and year-round delights such as yokan, a firm jelly-like bar of bean paste.

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