Nakanishi Yosaburo is a traditional Japanese sweets store founded in 1913 in Nara, the ancient capital of Japan.
The sweets are manufactured in the preserved streets of Naramachi, imbuing them with traditional flavour that stimulates the five senses.
Tradition and craft
Nakanishi Yosaburo was initially a manufacturer of 'mochi' rice cakes.
The store has continued the tradition of 'delivering the warmth of handmade produce to their customers' since its founding days.
Many visitors to Naramachi are attracted by the beauty of its traditional townscape. Much effort is made to protect and maintain the authenticity of this area. These endeavours are backed by the shop owners who seek to provide their customers with the opportunity to enjoy the authenticity of Nara with all five senses.
The sweets craftsman of Naramachi
The everyday lives of the people of Nara is most prominently experienced in Naramachi. As the fourth generation of this traditional sweets store, Mr. Katsuyuki Nakanishi, believes it is his mission to protect the traditional townscape of this area, and he engages in town revitalization projects.
He refurbished the old townhouse in which his store is located, and built a beautiful teahouse with a splendid view of the garden. He repurposed parts of the townhouse as gallery spaces. These inspired ideas provide comfort for his customers and make for an enjoyable visit.
Nakanishi-san includes the flavours of Nara culture within his products, including traditional ingredients such as Yamato tea and Kotoka strawberries in order to create truly authentic items.
(Images: left to right) Silky Habutae strawberries, Naramachi dango steamed buns. Habutae strawberries are available between December and May. Saka Manju buns can be obtained between January and March.
The new initiatives of a traditional store
Nakanishi Yosaburo is steeped in tradition, though maintains the flexibility to adapt to contemporary initatives and approaches.
The crafts of a traditional sweets maker may seem inaccessible to the regular visitor, though Nakanishi-san aims to increase interest in his sweets, by hosting sweet-making workshops and vistor experiences for the general public.
Originally dating from 1921, he opened his tea house to visitors, where tea and sweets can be enjoyed with a view of a traditional garden.
He welcomes the use of the open gallery space in the townhouse for exhibitions, where people can freely express their artistic ability.
He is realizing many of his aspirations and ideas, aiming to continue as the Naramachi sweets store where people can spend a relaxing, enjoyable time.
Nara Sweets Craftsman Nakanishi Yosaburo
23 Wakidocho, Nara-shi, Nara
Business hours: 9:30 - 18:00 (irregular holidays)
* Sweets-making workshop, reservations required. Yen 3,080. (Duration approx. 60 minutes, maximum 16 people per session) Available dates for each month are announced on the homepage.
* Kotoka is harvested during the period from mid-December to mid-May.
* This homepage is available in several languages. In order to localize our content for international readers, the information presented may have been altered in each individual language.