Mamehana Japanese Sweets Workshop
Wasanbon is a premium sugar traditionlally produced in Kagawa and neighboring Tokushima Prefecture. It has 400 years history and is popular today as an adorable confectionary. Taste the sweetness that spreads gently in the mouth.
Make your own ‘wasanbon’, Japan’s beautiful sugarcraft sweets
If you’ve ever had ‘matcha’ green tea served traditionally, you may have also tried ‘wasanbon’ sweets. Wasanbon sweets are made of fine, pure cane sugar, and ‘nerikiri’, or soft Japanese sweets, are made of white bean paste, ‘mochi’ powder, and sugar. These treats are often served with matcha, as the gentle sweetness perfectly balances the slightly bitter flavor of the tea.
Mamehana is a unique space
Ayumi Uehara owns and operates Mamehana, a private space in Takamatsu where guests can try their hand at making these traditional Japanese sweets. Unlike other sweet-making experience tours, Mamehana is not a confectionery shop but a dedicated workshop space.
According to Ms. Uehara, wasanbon sugar is made from a type of cane sugar called ‘chikuto’..Currently, chikuto is cultivated only in Kagawa and Tokushima Prefectures. The cultivation of the plant is said to have started in the Edo period, and unique sugar-making methods were researched and developed. As a result, wasanbon sweets have become one of the special regional products of Kagawa Prefecture.
Confection-making with an unusual technique
At Mamehana, guests can choose to make wasanbon candies, ‘nerikiri’ sweets, or both. Nerikiri soft sweets are usually molded by hand, but at Mamehana, guests are taught how to use hand-carved wooden molds to emboss designs onto the surface of the sweets—an unusual technique. The intricately detailed wooden molds are hand-carved by Ms. Uehara’s father, one of only a few master craftsmen in the country who carve Japanese confectionery molds. Ms. Uehara realized the beauty and fine detail in her father’s molds, and the desire to share his art led her to want to open a workshop space.
Japanese confections go international
Ms. Uehara has conducted workshops internationally in Los Angeles, Boston, Edmonton, London, Heidelberg, Taipei, and Shanghai. She says her purpose for teaching how to make wasanbon and nerikiri sweets are not simply a way to promote Japanese culture and tradition in a fun and modern way, but also to connect with people from around the world.
Address: Kagawa Prefecture, Takamatsu City, Hanazono-cho 1-9-13
Business hours: 10:00~17:00 (reception until 16:00)
How to apply to this workshop: Please reserve by mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) . For wasanbon candy, please reserve one day in advance; for nerikiri, please reserve two days in advance. Please give your name, contact number, number of participants, and type of sweets you want to make.
Fee: Wasanbon or Nerikiri 1,500 JPY each / Both types 2,500 JPY