Updated: August 10, 2018
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Usagiya In Ueno: Tokyo's Emblematic Dorayaki

Ueno

Looking for a traditional sweet around Ueno? Then you have got to try the dorayaki of Usagiya, an iconic shop with a history of over 100 years.

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The Iconic Usagiya Cafe In Ueno

Established in 1913 in Ueno, Unigiya Cafe has become a flagship eaterie in the eastern part of Tokyo. Popular with locals for over a century, and recently being visited by quite a lot of tourists too, you should definitely check out this take-out shop selling traditional sweets to see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

If you can't read kanji, watch for the rabbit above the entrance to know that you're at the right place!
Also, you might be interested to know that Usagiya now has a cafe nearby this location where you can enjoy the sweet adzuki bean paste in a slightly different way than the dorayaki shown below. Check the link for more information.

The Dorayaki Specialist

By far the cafe's best selling item is the dorayaki. These are little castella-like hotcake sandwiches that are filled with a thick layer of sweet adzuki beans. The beans are of the best quality and are produced in Japan. In fact, all the ingredients used to make these dorayaki cakes are said to be of top quality. This is why the shop has been recognized for its excellence for all those years.
The filling is really soft, and there is another secret to the unique taste, they add a little honey mixed in with lotus flower seeds to the dorayaki. Lotus seeds have a slightly bitter taste so it adds another dimension to the taste.

One dorayaki is ¥205, taxes included. It makes the perfect snack for when you are strolling around Ueno.
You can buy a box of dorayaki to eat later on, but be aware that they are much better fresh. The shop recommends that you eat them within two days of the purchase (they are made on a daily basis at the store). Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy them is to have them while they are still hot, freshly baked from Usagiya.
They have other sweets too. If you are looking to try something different, the usagi manju is also a choice you won't regret. It has the scent of a variety of Japanese potato called Yamatoimo, which is actually considered a medicinal herb in China. The inside is "koshian" which is anko bean paste that was strained so it is smooth with no chunks of beans left in it.

One of these is ¥185, taxes included.
As a summer treat to cool you off, you can also have a nice soft serve vanilla ice cream that has anko in it as well. The taste of the red beans harmonizes surprisingly well with the sweet vanilla taste. Give it a try!
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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