Kuri Kinton is an autumn treat. There must be a lot of customers that come here just for this delicacy.
There are two theories regarding the origin of Kuri Kinton. One is that it was created in Nakatsugawa city in Gifu prefecture and the other is that it was born here, in Yaotsu.
The first place in Yaotsu to start making the sweet was this shop, Midoriya Roho.
This historical sweets shop was founded in 1872. About 100 years ago, the third generation owner though up a sweet using local chestnuts and that’s what is now called Kuri Kinton.
Yaotsu’s Kuri Kinton is popular for how it leaves the texture of the chestnuts and has a very natural taste. Once the chestnuts are in season, people come from near and far to buy the special treats.
When chestnuts aren’t in season, 'Buntako' is the featured sweet at Midoriya Roho.
Buntako is a steamed rice flour cake filled with a sweet bean paste using Yaotsu’s local mugwort plant with very little color additive.
The combination of the mugwort’s natural bitterness and uncompromising sweetness is the perfect match.
You can't just eat one or two. In the local dialect the mugwort paste was called 'Buntako', which is where this sweet got its name.
At Midoriya Roho, the chestnuts and mugwort used in the preparation are local, picked right in the neighborhood, and the natural water used to make the sweets here is drawn from 100m below the earth’s surface. The shop has never expanded or established other branches and instead has protected the integrity of the taste of their sweets from generation to generation in the Yaotsu shop. This is the spirit of this long-standing store.
‘Kuri Kinton’ is written in big letters on Midoriya Roho’s sign. It has become common to write the name ‘Kuri Kinton’ in the easier to read Hiragana characters, but this store has maintained the original Chinese characters to write the name.
There is a staple in the New Years ‘osechi’ dish called ‘Kuri Kinton’, but the Chinese character for ‘ton’ used in the name of this dish represents a ball due to the shape.
This sweet uses the different character of 'ton' representing ‘a steamed rice cake’.
Midoriya Roho was rebuilt in 2000. The new store is located about 30 meters from the old shop, but you’ll find it easily with the unique design and the ‘Kuri Kinton’ (栗金飩) sign.
Besides the Kuri Kinton and Buntako, you’ll find a variety of other seasonal treats. And the Japanese sweets look just as beautiful as they taste. Make sure to savor a taste of these delicate, handmade sweets.