I spend the most money on food when I am in Japan. I love Japanese sweets, and this time I think I went a little far. (But not bad though…..to me)
While walking around the Matsumoto city after visiting the castle, I stumbled upon a cute little shop that looked cozy inside.Wanted to find a place to regroup myself after exposing under the extreme weather, I stepped in.
The shop is called 豆吉本舗 ~Mame – Kichi ~ . The first letter “豆” means beans. The shop uses sugar to make “five color beans” (beans with colored sugar coat). According to the shop’s website, the five colored beans also signifies 5 elements in the religious sense.
The lady in the shop offered me hot tea as I stepped in. The tea was brewed with black beans. The slight wooden, sweet scent, the rounded-smooth after taste, and the warmth of tea brought my cold body back to life. Soon I did not need my scarf anymore.
While sipping my tea, I realized I was surrounded by over 25 different kinds of flavored beans. Each kind is labeled clearly with the name and the flavor. All the beans presented in the small bowls are free for people to try one.
I tried several flavored beans: Raspberry sugar coated peanuts (pink ones in the photo above), vanilla flavored peanuts, and dried black beans. I love how the sugar’s sweetness is subtle, and does not cover the peanuts’ original taste. I picked up 2 small bags of flavored peanuts and went to the cashier.
“880 Yen” the lady said. Suddenly pictures of a bowl of ramen, tempura with rice bowl, curry rice flashed before me. For 800 yen I can eat a meal in Japan. Suddenly I realized, I am buying high quality beans, not just the ones I can buy in large quantities for 500 yen. Yet I was not about to let go of these 2 bags of beans, so I paid.
With my warmed heart and 2 bags of peanuts (probably the most expensive peanuts I ever bought), I hurried to go catch the train, hoping JL will feed me for free at his school cafeteria for dinner tonight.
Mame Kichi has several shops around Japan. You can find more information at: http://mame-kichi.jp/static/store-i.html