Kyoto's mesmerising candy shop
Text: Keiko Nakamura / Photo: Naoki Matsuda
Ayanokoji-Dori is a street down 1 block to the south from Shijo-Dori. You can find a stylish exposed concrete building that Crochet is running its main branch of the Kyoto candy since 2013. A clean modern white interior matches the classic neighborhood. Candies were shining under the sunlight from the large window. The bright colors had taken my breath away. Each candies had a fancy name, like Genji emaki (picture scroll of a classic Genji story) and Puss in Boots, and a card giving interesting description were almost like a museum exhibition.
As I glanced through the 30 plus candies, the shop chief, Ms. Oohana Megumi had offered me some tasting. I asked for Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (I will wait for you), a square shaped yogurt flavour candy. THe pink and light blue candy dedicated to the dress Catherine Deneuve was wearing in the film was tender sweet and sour.
I also tried Gin-nezumi (gray mouse), which I was guessing to be soda or peppermint but actually was a surprising sweet potato. The point that some candy doesn't match the taste and its color is fun to find out' says Ms. Oohana who cheerfully explain to the other customers as well.
Crochet was opened by Takehiko Ikemura, who learned marketing at a western pastry maker in Kobe, and Imanishi Seika, oldest candy shop in Kyoto with 140 years of history. The candies are a mixture of traditional Kyoto and European techniques. Fun to look at, taking you to a day dream about various cultures and history. Great for presents but also encouraging to have at your working desk to sharpen you up at the office.