Try Kuri Kinton, a Japanese Autumn Treat, in Shinjuku!
Nov 02, 2020
When you think of fall in Japan, the first thing that comes to mind may be the red and orange fall leaves. However, the variety of seasonal dishes is something that many locals would think of first. This is because of a well-known Japanese phrase, “aki no mikaku,” or fall flavors, which causes many people to associate fall with food. Sweet potatoes, Matsutake mushrooms, and chestnuts are well-known fall flavors. Because these ingredients are so delicious, people tend to blame their overindulgence on their “fall appetite.”
In this article, we will take a look at chestnuts, arguably the most popular fall ingredient in Japan. Chestnuts are not commonly eaten in North America, but you can find chestnut-flavored treats in any shop, as well as the nuts themselves.
If you stop by the Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku, you can find the limited-time Shogetsudo pop-up shop. Shogetsudo is a traditional sweets shop that was founded in Gifu Prefecture. Their most famous treat is kuri kinton, directly translated as chestnut golden mash, a soft and slightly sweet treat with a fragrant aroma. We asked one of Shogetsudo's staff members about the secret to the great taste of their kuri kinton.
First, please tell us about Shogetsudo’s history and where it was founded.
Shogetsudo was founded in 1907 in Nakatsugawa in Gifu Prefecture. Nakatsugawa is located in the center of Japan. As chestnuts grow in the area, it’s where kuri kinton originated. Even though the town is a quiet place located in the heart of Mount Ena, since long ago, it has been well connected with the culture and become a place where Japanese sweets and tea were cultivated. Shogetsudo specializes in making chestnut-flavored Japanese sweets that have been enjoyed by many people throughout the years.
What kind of sweet is kuri kinton?
Kuri kinton is a steamed Japanese sweet made of simmered chestnuts and sugar that are then squeezed in a tea napkin to create their shape.
We tried Shogetsudo’s kuri kinton. It was very delicious and wasn’t as sweet as we imagined. We were surprised that something made with only chestnuts and sugar would have such a restrained sweetness. Tell us the secret to making such a wonderful sweet.
Shogetsudo’s kuri kinton is made with specially selected domestic fresh chestnuts steamed while still in the shell. After that, the nuts are carefully removed from the shell one by one and simmered in a large pot with sugar. The mixture is lightly “scorched” while in the pot, a traditional cooking method. It is then squeezed into shape in a tea napkin. We hope everyone enjoys the mild chestnut fragrance, refined sweetness, and soft texture of our kuri kinton.
Pop-up Shop in Shinjuku
Next, I’d like to ask about your pop-up show at the Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku. When will be pop-up shop be open, and where in the department store will it be?
The pop-up shop will be open from Wednesday, September 2nd, until Tuesday, January 1st, 2021. The shop is on the B2 level of the Odakyu Department Store, in the eat-in corner of the food section.
Are a limited number of kuri kinton sold each day of the pop-up shop?
We place our order for stock based on how many pieces have been sold. There is no limit on how much we can sell; however we may run out of stock. On some days, we run out of our box of 10 kuri kinton around 7:00PM.
Will there be any limited-time items?
From Wednesday, October 28th to Tuesday, November 10th, we will be selling kurimushi youkan, a jellied dessert with steamed chestnuts added. The price is 1,080 with tax, and there will be 150 pieces sold.
Will you be selling anything other than kuri kinton?
We will also be selling other chestnut-based Japanese sweets, including kurizutsumi, which features our kuri kinton enveloped in a thick Japanese arrowroot glaze. We will also have kurigaki, which is our kurikinton covered in a soft dried persimmon paste made from Ichida persimmons.
Finally, I want to know which product is your favorite and why?
Personally, I like our Kurizutumi the best. The arrowroot has a mochi-like texture, and the soft kuri kinton tastes great.
Chestnuts are used in many fall sweets, but kuri kinton stands out from the pack because it uses the nuts' natural flavor. You’ll feel at ease why you take a bite of these delicious Japanese treats. Make your way to the Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku and try Shogetsudo’s kuri kinton today!
Shogetsudo Pop-up Shop
Open from Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 to Tuesday, January 26th, 2021
Location: Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku B2 (in the eat-in corner of the food section)
Hours of Operation: 10:00AM-8:00PM
Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku
This department store is directly connected to Shinjuku Station, the train station with the highest number of passengers in Japan. Featuring a wide lineup of everything from popular cosmetics and luxu…
- 1-1-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Telephone number
- Hours of operation
- 10:00AM-8:30PM Note: May vary according to the floor, day of the week and season.
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