Toraya Yokan Tasting

On Saturday 12 March Japan House London is hosting a free tasting session of yōkan, a Japanese sweet made of gelled sweet bean paste. Yōkan is served with either coffee, sencha green tea or ginger tea.

Yōkan is chiefly made of azuki beans, sugar, and plant-based agar. It is one of Japan’s all-time favourite sweets, and a drawing of yōkan wrapped in a bamboo sheath appears in an illustrated encyclopaedia from the Edo Period (1603 – 1868 CE).

About the Maker

Toraya was founded in the early 16th century CE in Kyoto, and is one of Japan’s best-known Japanese sweet (wagashi) makers, with its distinctive tiger mark. Between 1586 to 1611 CE, Toraya was the imperial court official purveyor of wagashi serving the Emperor Go-Yōzei. Throughout the Edo period, Toraya’s popularity grew, being patronized by noble families throughout Japan. The modern era saw Toraya move its main operations to Tokyo. Toraya’s yōkan are made from carefully selected, high-quality ingredients, and cooked with recipes and techniques developed over centuries.