As you know, there is a variety of Wagashi (Japanese desserts), and each season has different kinds.
Among those, Taiyaki (鯛焼き) is one of the most popular Wagashi through all seasons for us.
This time I’m going to tell you about a Taiyaki shop named Naniwaya Sohonten (浪花家総本店), which is in Azabu-juban in Tokyo.
Naniwaya Sohonten (浪花家総本店)
Before I start talking about Naniwaya Sohonten, let me explain Taiyaki.
Taiyaki in Japanese literally means “baked sea bream”. In Japan, sea bream are considered to be very auspicious fish.
Taiyaki are made using waffle batter. The waffle batter is poured into a sea bream-shaped mold, and then it is often filled with red bean paste.
It is said that Naniwaya Sohonten has been open since 1909, and it is the oldest Taiyaki store in Tokyo.
The shop was named “Naniwaya” because the first owner originally came from Osaka, and Naniwa is the old name for Osaka.
The shop has 2 floors; on the 1st floor, you can buy Taiyaki to take away, and on the 2nd floor there is a cafe.
At the cafe, they serve Yakisoba (fried noodles), Kakigori (shaved ice usually served with flavored syrup) and Taiyaki as well as drinks, etc.
The day I visited, three men were using sea bream-shaped molds to bake Taiyaki one by one on the 1st floor, so the air inside was very hot.
I bought Taiyaki to take away and ate it in my office.
The skin of the Taiyaki was thin and crispy, and the red bean paste inside was delicious.
Flavor and quality can vary a lot between Taiyaki shops, however I like this Taiyaki very much.
Nowadays other common fillings are custard cream, chocolate, cheese, Matcha with red beans etc., so if you stay in Japan for a while, why not compare a few Taiyaki at different shops?
This shop is also known as the model of a very popular hit song called “Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun (およげ！たいやきくん)” which means “Swim! Taiyaki”.
This song was composed for children in 1975, however adults also liked the lyrics and melody. For this reason there have been about 5 million records and CDs sold.
Now you know how popular Taiyaki are in Japan.
Place Information: Naniwaya Sohonten
Address: 1-8-14 Azabu-juban, Minato-ku
Access: From Tokyo Metro Namboku Line Azabu-juban Station, Exit 5b: 2 minute walk
From Toei Oedo Line Azabu-juban Station, Exit 4: 2 minute walk
Business hours: 10:00 – 20:00 (11:00 – 19:00 at cafe)
Closed: Every Tuesday and the 3rd Wednesday of the month
Website in Japanese only: http://www.azabujuban.or.jp/shop/food/219/