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Mochitsuki in Tokyo!

At noon today, there was a mochitsuki on Kyokai-dori, right by Ogikubo Station. Kyokai-dori literally means “Church Street” (although it is simply a nice pedestrian street with many neat shops and restaurants). And, a mochitsuki is the Japanese tradition of pounding steamed rice in a wooden barrel to make mochi.

Even though I got there at 11:30, there was already a long line!

I joined the line, and before I knew it, it was time to choose which mochi to buy.

There were three kinds: kinako, anko and karami (that’s what’s written in the poster below). Kinako is roasted soybean flour, which tastes a lot like peanut butter. Anko is sweet red bean paste, which is almost chocolately. And, karami turned out to be mochi topped with grated daikon radish.

I couldn’t decide, so I got one of each. Besides, they were just 100 yen! I wonder if they even made any profit at all!

After purchasing my mochi, I went to the nearby Town Seven mall at Ogikubo Station and went to the rooftop floor. There are chairs and tables where people can enjoy packed meals or bentos, and just outside, there is a playground that is extremely popular among parents with young children. It is always very crowded.

You can see a beautiful view from the rooftop, and when the weather is very clear, you can even see Mt. Fuji!

I sampled each of the three mochi packs. On the left is kinako, middle is karami, and on the right is anko. All were much more delicious than I even expected! Normally, anko would have been by far my favorite, but I was in a savory mood this afternoon, so I found the karami (grated daikon) mochi exceptionally delicious.

I washed this all down with a traditional Mitsuya Cider, which is a sort of carbonated lemonade with a long history here in Japan.

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