Imotaro

Grilled sweet potato triangles

By Sherilyn Siy    - 2 min read

Strolling through Kawagoe's famous Kurazukuri Zone (Old Storehouse Zone), we spied a sign advertising sweet potato onigiri. Curiosity and hunger made us duck into a small and dark shopping alley where we found Imotaro, a humble shop run by men who seemed to have been grilling onigiri since the Showa Era.

What they were grilling though does not have a grain of rice in it (some shops do sell grilled rice balls and you must try them too!) but is 100% pure sweet potato, no added sugar. Imotaro's sweet potatoes are sourced from Kawagoe's farmers. The sweet potato's skin has been peeled off, and the bright yellow starchy goodness inside has been mashed, kneaded and shaped into triangles and grilled on an iron plate. Once they're slightly browned, they're ready.

The jolly old men behind the grill cajoled us to try even just one piece. At ¥180, who could say no to that? We did and immediately regretted not getting a pack of 3 for ¥500, which was a better value. You could buy a pack of 6 for ¥1,000, and in a show of good humor, a sign says "for a pack of 100... please contact us (^^)".

What Imotaro sells is the pure deliciousness of sweet potatoes, nothing more and nothing less. It is no wonder that they have been featured numerous times on TV and magazines.

This humble looking shop opens at 10:00 and closes at 6:00 p.m. or when they're sold out for the day. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except when it's a National Holiday, in which case, they close the following day.

Getting there

Imotaro is located right on the famous Kurazukuri Zone (Old Storehouse Zone). If you are coming from Kawagoe or Hon-Kawagoe Station, Imotaro is located on the left-hand side of the street. As this is a popular tourist area, parking is difficult to find and taking public transportation is highly recommended. There is easy bus access to Kurazukuri Zone from both Kawagoe and Hon-Kawagoe Stations.

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Sherilyn Siy

Sherilyn Siy @sherilyn.siy

For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan. 

Join the discussion

That looks so delicious! I really need to visit Kawagoe again....
Sherilyn Siy Author 5 days ago
Agree. We are planning to go back to Kawagoe on an empty stomach to do a whole day food tour.
Elena Lisina a week ago
Japanese are very inventive in dishes! Here we don't have such a variety. All I tried was good for my taste! :P
Sleiman Azizi a week ago
Almost looks as if it were a tamagoyaki and onigiri combination!