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Travel Tips

Known as 'Ikinari Manju' in Fukuoka, it's a quick, affordable snack. 1

Introduction

History

  • 📜 Edo Period: Ikinari Dango became widely known during the Edo period.
  • 👑 Feudal Lord: A feudal lord visiting Aso Mountain popularized the sweet.
  • 🗣️ Name Origin: 'Ikinari' means 'suddenly' in Kumamoto dialect, indicating its quick preparation.
  • 🍠 Humble Beginnings: Initially made with just sweet potatoes and wheat flour due to rice scarcity.
  • 📈 Popularity: Over time, it gained popularity and variations were introduced.

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Ingredients

  • 🍠 Sweet Potato: The main filling, providing a nutritious and sweet flavor.
  • 🌾 Wheat Flour: Used to make the dough.
  • 🍚 Glutinous Rice Flour: Adds a chewy texture to the dough.
  • 🍬 Red Bean Paste: Can be either smooth (Koshi-an) or chunky (Tsubu-an).
  • 🧂 Salt: Adds a slight salty contrast to the sweetness.
  • 🍬 Sugar: Used in the dough for a touch of sweetness.

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Preparation

  • 1️⃣ Step 1: Peel and slice sweet potatoes, soak in water for 10 minutes.
  • 2️⃣ Step 2: Mix wheat flour, glutinous rice flour, salt, and sugar with water to form a dough.
  • 3️⃣ Step 3: Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • 4️⃣ Step 4: Roll out the dough, place sweet potato slices and red bean paste on it, and wrap.
  • 5️⃣ Step 5: Steam the wrapped dough for about 20 minutes until cooked.

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Cultural Significance

  • 🗣️ Dialect: 'Ikinari' means 'suddenly' in Kumamoto dialect, reflecting its quick preparation.
  • 🍠 Seasonal: Traditionally made during the sweet potato harvest season in the fall.
  • 🏡 Home-Made: Commonly prepared by families in Kumamoto as a traditional dessert.
  • 🎉 Occasions: Served on various occasions and to surprise guests.
  • 🛍️ Souvenir: Popular as a souvenir and available year-round in specialty stores.

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Where to Buy

  • 🏪 Specialty Stores: Available in many specialty stores across Kumamoto.
  • 🛍️ Michi No Eki Aso: A popular spot to buy various types of Ikinari Dango.
  • 🛒 Frozen Option: Can be purchased frozen for longer storage.
  • 🍬 Street Vendors: Often sold by street vendors in Kumamoto.
  • 🏬 Souvenir Shops: Widely available in souvenir shops around tourist attractions.

Making Experience

  • 🏠 Ikinariya Watanabe: Offers a hands-on experience making Ikinari Dango.
  • 📍 Location: 4-3-42 Tsuboi, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi.
  • 💰 Fee: 3,500 yen per session.
  • 🕒 Hours: Available year-round except Sundays and holidays, consultation required for times after 1:30 pm.
  • 🦠 COVID-19 Measures: Includes alcohol disinfection, masks, and body temperature checks.

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Nearby Attractions

  • 🏯 Kumamoto Castle: One of Japan's three great castles, also known as Ginkgo Castle.
  • 🏛️ Wakuwakuza Kumamoto Castle Museum: Offers interactive exhibits on the history and culture of Kumamoto.
  • 🏞️ Sakuranobaba Johsaien: A facility for tourism and cultural exchange with historical and cultural experiences.
  • 🛍️ Kumamoto Prefectural Products Center: Sells local specialties including food, sake, and crafts.
  • 🍽️ Akaushi Dining yoka-yoka teppanandoguriru: A restaurant specializing in Akaushi beef dishes.

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