- 2 min read

Sweeten up at Casen

Authentic Japanese confectionery in Kita Kamakura

Not far from Kenchō-ji Temple, Kita Kamakura, is an authentic Japanese confectionery or wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery) shop called Casen. You can just stop by and get some sweets to take home or sit down for some sweets and tea.

The shop is set up in three parts. The entrance and storefront is where all kind of sweets are displayed neatly. Among many kind of wagashi there are wasanbon, which are Japanese sugar candies that come in many lovely shapes and colors, and kompeito, another Japanese candy that looks like miniature durian fruit. Every sweet is nicely packed, ready to be a lovely gift.

Next to the storefront is a café that is divided into two sections. In one, the tables and chairs are set around a small beautiful Japanese garden, and the second is a back room with small tables on a tatami floor looking out into an outside garden.

Besides green tea and wagashi, there are 2 or 3 Japanese deserts called anmitsu on their menu. This is a kind of summer desert that consists of many things such as red bean, jelly, fruits of the season, or fresh cherries topped with sweet syrup. Ice cream may be added. They are delicious and very refreshing.

I tried one of the anmitsu from the menu which had some red beans, some round dough, and some sweet cherries and peaches in syrup. My sweet came on a big tray with green tea, a tiny bowl of salted seaweed, a spoon and a pair of chopsticks. I found it strange to have salted seaweed with desert but it actually tasted good.

If you happen to be in Kita Kamakura, be sure to stop by Casen and sweeten up. People in the shop do not speak much English and there is no English menu but there are some pictures and everyone is friendly and happy to help.

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