Akō is a Seto Inland Sea coastal town in the western part of Hyogo that once flourished as a production center of high-grade salt. This specialty salt is still used by the confectioner that produces “Shiomi Manju”.
A standard Shiomi Manju has a crumbly outer ‘shell’ and a salty Azuki paste filling.
When I was little, I didn’t like sweets with a salty taste, but as I got older I started to realize that the salt brings out the sweetness. Eating “Mishima-ya Honten’s” Shiomi Manju led to this discovery! “Mishima-ya Honten” is located at the entrance of Akō Misaki.
As you drive along the wide coast road from Akō, just into the road that leads to Akō Misaki there is a small shop with a flag. Though the shop sells mainly Shiomi Manju, it also sells Monaka.
As you enter and begin checking out the display cabinet, staff emerge from deep inside the shop to help.
Wrapped in thin Washi paper, the Shiomi Manju here have a softer outer layer than any other I’ve tried. The homemade Azuki paste (made with Azuki beans from Hokkaido) is cooked over an open fire as in the old days. Only sugar and salt are added (no artificial additives). As such, they don’t have a long shelf life, but that is never a problem – they get eaten very quickly!!
The box features a picture of Akōrōshi (Forty-seven Ronin), so they make great souvenir gifts.
Mishima-ya Honten’s excellent original Kinako (roasted soy bean) flavored Shiomi Manju are really tasty, too. Many people look forward to stopping by this shop whenever they visit Akō.
Address: 341-1 Misaki, Akō-shi, Hyogo
Hours: 8:00- 19:00
Parking: 1 space
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer : Bridge (Ayanori & Yoko Okamoto)
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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