Beware of Sugar Rush! 10 Popular Sweets Shops in Wakayama
Wakayama Prefecture is home to many tourist attractions such as shrines, theme parks, and scenic spots. While exploring, you might get tired by all the walking. If that happens, why not take a break and eat some sweets? There are many shops in Wakayama where you can enjoy Japanese sweets and cakes. Here are 10 recommended sweets shops, all with distinct atmospheres and products.
Aug 28 2018 (Jan 01 2020)
1. Kasakuni [Koyasan]
Kasakuni is a Japanese sweets shop located on Mt. Koya, a sacred mountain in Wakayama. Some of their Japanese sweets are served at the tea section of the store. Many Japanese sweets are perishabe, making them difficult to bring home as souvenirs. Visiting this shop is a great chance to get to try some of them!
There are Japanese sweets that are sold throughout the year, and others only seasonally. If there are event or festival specific sweets, make sure to try them while you can!
The strong sweetness of many of these sweets will rejuvenate you after a visit to Mt. Koya. All of their handmade Japanese sweets look so beautiful that it might be difficult to choose, and their affordable price of around 100 yen each is another appeal of this store.
2. Suwaen [Kiwa]
Suwaen is a Japanese tea shop with a history of over 150 years. You can enjoy sweets and drinks made with matcha (green tea) here. Matcha Kaki-gori (shaved ice), which is served only during the summer, is a dessert with plenty of luxurious toppings, such as sweet red bean paste and white rice dumplings. The refreshing flavor of matcha will blow away the heat!
Warm yourself up with matcha drinks in the cold season. The Matcha Latte is recommended for those who do not like the bitterness of matcha. Its mild and sweet taste is easy to drink, even for children.
Since Suwaen is a tea specialist store, it’s also possible to try tea tasting here. Tea leaves are light and long-lasting, so they make perfect souvenirs. There are various kinds of tea, including sweet ones, bitter ones, and ones with great fragrances, so be sure to try out a wide variety!
3. Cafe Kyakuden [Kaseda]
Being housed in a renovated kominka (traditional Japanese home) gives this cafe a retro atmosphere. It is located near the World Heritage Niutsuhime Shrine (Niutsuhime Jinja), so you can visit while sightseeing. There is a full lunch menu, but you can also come by only for sweets or drinks.
Their sweets menu consists of yakimochi (grilled rice cakes filled with sweet red bean paste) served with matcha, as well as a cake combo. The contents of the cake combo change daily. Their cute handmade cakes are popular for their subtle flavors.
With a dignified, almost temple-like appearance, you wouldn’t imagine it was a cafe. Old-fashioned furniture is used in the shop, so those who love Japan will definitely enjoy the atmosphere. The cafe is fairly quiet most of the time, so it’s a nice place to relax.
4. Shirahama Olive & Gelato [Shirahama]
Shirahama Olive Farm is the first olive farm in Wakayama. At their annexed cafe, you can have gelato made from organic, pesticide-free olives.
They also sell gelato made with local plums and oranges. On hot days, you can eat your gelato on the outside terrace, and on cold days, you can enjoy your sweet treats inside the shop.
Since it is an olive farm, they also sell olive oil. Why not take a walk through the olive groves after eating and shopping? There is a view of the Pacific Ocean that is 10km away from the olive groves. It is a great way to relax while enjoying the sea breeze.
5. Petra no Sato [Shirahama]
Petra no Sato is a cafe near the sea. Here, you can enjoy locally-sourced meals, desserts, drinks, and more. One of their desserts, Petra Punch, is topped with umeboshi (pickled plum) from Wakayama. The sourness of the umeboshi with the sweetness of the ice cream and fruits is surprisingly delicious!
You can also enjoy juice from a citrus fruit called "jabara", which is only cultivated in a limited area within Wakayama. Quench your thirst with its refreshing sweetness and slight bitterness!
The interior has a handcrafted feel, and there are various types of seating, from the counter and table seats, to floor seats where you take off your shoes and even seats where you can soak your feet in a footbath while you enjoy a cup of coffee.
6. Humpty Dumpty [Kainan]
Humpty Dumpty is a shop that is famous for its all-you-can-eat cakes. For an unbelievable price of 2,000 yen, you can get a main dish with salad, unlimited drinks, and all-you-can-eat cakes. Weekdays have no time limit, while Saturdays and Sundays have a 2-hour limit.
The cakes are made without additives and preservatives, and are mild in sweetness. You can try a variety of cakes since the portions are small, and those who are not confident in their gluttony can order the cakes on their own instead. Don't forget to order a chiffon cake, which is their specialty.
Since you've come all the way to Japan, try their matcha cake! The pink and white toppings are made from gyuhi (a type of soft Japanese confectionary made with sugar and rice cake flour). The sweetness of the gyuhi goes well with the slight bitterness of the matcha cake.
7. Wanoka Coffee [Kii-Shinjo]
Wanoka Coffee serves freshly baked baumkuchen (traditional German cake) with seasonal fruit toppings. The Japanese-Style Baumkuchen comes with matcha or anko (sweet red bean paste) toppings. You could also opt for an assorted dessert plate to enjoy a variety of tastes, little by little.
You can also order fragrant coffee that is brewed with a siphon, cup by cup. They have a wide variety of coffee, including some rare ones that cannot be found easily. Teas and juices are also available.
The hot cafe latte and matcha latte come with latte art that's so cute, you might hesitate to drink it! You'll find latte art of pandas, bears, lions, and so on. Look forward to what kind of art you are getting on your latte while you wait for your order!
8. Tama Cafe [Kishi]
The station manager of Kishi in Wakayama may be the cutest one in Japan! This is because the station manager is not a human, but a calico cat named "Tama". You can meet Tama in person at the train station. Tama Cafe, located in the lobby of the station, sells ice cream and juice with cat motifs.
The ice cream has ears made of almonds and eyes made from chocolate chips. The portion is small, so you can easily finish it while waiting for the train. There are also cafe mochas with paw latte art, cookies in the shape of cat tails, and more! Cat lovers and anyone who's crazy for cute things will absolutely love them!
The train station building itself is in the shape of a cat, and the inside is also full of cat art. If you are lucky, you may be able to see a cat-shaped train! Despite the location being far from Wakayama City, it is a popular place for tourists from both Japan and abroad to visit.
9. Ms Cafe [Wakayama]
Ms Cafe is a cafe attached to an art gallery in the city of Wakayama. They offer a variety of desserts, drinks, and handmade cheesecakes made with different ingredients according to the season. Seasonal vegetables and fruits are what gives their cakes beautiful colors.
Dishes and cups are selected with great care, and breads and jams are sourced from local establishments. The portions are perfect if you are just a little bit hungry, as they are not too large.
You can feel a sense of elegance while drinking tea and viewing artworks. Since it is attached to an art gallery, the cafe is rather quiet and calm. If you decide to visit, it is recommended that you don’t go in a big group.
10. South West Cafe Fruit Bar [Wakayama]
Many people like to have a drink at the end of the day. At South West Cafe Fruit Bar, they serve cocktails made with plenty of fresh fruits from Wakayama. The cocktails can be served as non-alcoholic drinks, so children and those who do not drink alcohol can enjoy them as well.
The fruits on offer change with the season. The summer dessert menu includes a dish known as the "Peach Bomb". It is a luxurious item that uses a whole ripened peach with hidden cherries inside.
If you want to enjoy a variety of fruits at once, the Wakayama Punch is recommended. The fruits used for this cocktail change depending on the season.
That’s all for the recommended sweets shops in Wakayama. All of the shops listed above are close to train stations or sightseeing spots, so you can drop by easily. Charge up your energy with sweets so you can go back to enjoying sightseeing!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.