The perfect experience for those looking to enjoy the spring season! This time we are proud to introduce a 'wagashi' workshop where you can experience making traditional Japanese sweets. The shop we will visit today is called 'Temari' and is located in the area Hase in Kamakura city. Temari is driven and passionate about sharing the joy of Japanese hand-made sweets which has led to regular workshops that can easily be enjoyed even by complete beginners.
Wagashi spring workshop in SHONAN
Our participant this time was Maya from England. It was great to experience the delicacy of wagashi-making first hand and take a step into the deep world of Japanese sweets. Take the Enoden train and jump of at Hase station. Follow the shoreline for a few minutes and you will find the shop Temari.
Seasonal Wagashi Workshop
As you enter the workshop you will find all the necessary tools and ingredients necessary to make Japanese wagashi neatly prepared and waiting for you at your seat.
On February's menu we find apples!
On every table there is a sample of the finished product. At Tenmari the menu changes every month which is why many of the customers keep coming back over and over again.
After a brief explanation from the teacher it's time to get started! Firstly, you will separate the four dough-like pastes of different colors into three equal parts. Knead each one in the palm of your hand and start rolling them gently into round shapes. To avoid the colors mixing together make sure to wipe the palm of your hand regularly.
After you have finished it should look something like this. From here on we will make a total of three apples. One for eating right away, and two that you can bring with you home.
Once the different doughs are prepared we will start by making the inside of the apple using the white bean paste. Inside the white bean paste we will place a few large-grained adzuki beans (this will bring the finished product to the next level!). Flatten the dough in your palm and fold it over, repeat this process a number of times.
This next step requires some speed to avoid the heat building up in you palm and making the dough too soft and hard to handle.
Flatten the red and yellow doughs into circles and stack them on the palm of your hand. Lastly you place the white bean paste ball from the last step in the middle and gently wrap it in the red dough.
After the dough is shaped into nice round balls we will keep them beneath a gauze or other similar fabric to ensure the dough doesn't dry out.
Finally, the finishing touches!
Start by using the cone-shaped wooden tool to press down at the top of the sphere to simulate the dent at the top of the apple. Next place the prepared stem of the apple in the dent. The detailed work brings an expression of concentration to Maya's face Lastly, we will use the small green piece of dough to create a leaf which we place next to stem.
And voild ! The finished product!
The yellow paste inside shines through realistically replicating the natural gradation found in apples.
Let's check what it looks like when you cut it as well.
Now we can see that the large-grained adzuki beans we wrapped in the white bean paste earlier was to resemble the apple seeds!
Maya who actually is a big fan of the bean paste used in Japanese sweets flashes a big smile as she bites down on the newly finished wagashi while enjoying some Japanese green tea.
How did Maya enjoy her first attempt at making Japanese sweets? I panicked slightly while flattening the dough in my palms because it felt like it would stick but, in the end, even a beginner like me managed to finish the task while enjoying the experience. The softness of the freshly made wagashi made it very delicious. I truly felt that I want to try and make more different wagashi!
Even a complete beginner without special tools or skills can easily take a step into the world of Japanese sweets and be charmed by its splendor through this workshop.
The menu of the workshop changes every month so take this opportunity to enjoy the different seasons through the experience of making wagashi!
The remaining two products will be placed in a special case and put into a nice bag for you to bring home. You can eat them yourself after you get home, or why not share them with a special someone?
Kamakura Wagashi Cafe Temari
Next to the studio used for the workshop you can find the joint establishment 'Sousaku Wagashi Charyou Temari' where freshly made high-class wagashi are offered in a cafe setting (*Reservations necessary for lunch). The bright and vivid colors of the lined up wagashi is a truly beautiful sight that makes anyone who rests their eyes on them gasp. Temari's detailed use of color can even be produced in checked patterns and and specially ordered to fit the colors of your company logo or such. Even if you can't take part in the workshop we warmly recommend buying some sweets if you are in the area (But be quick, the popularity often results in everything being sold out by lunch!)
● For more information on Kamakura Sousaku Wagashi 'Temari', click here