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It is amazing how many different sweets can be made out of rice! Mochi is rice cakes made by pounding rice into paste and molding the paste into different shapes.

DSCF0510Kikyoshingen-mochi is a local specialty of the Yamanashi prefecture. The rice cakes are covered in Kinako powder, also known as roasted soybean flour, and served with brown sugar syrup.DSCF0511

The mochi themselves are not particularly sweet and Kinako powder is actually salty. But the brown sugar syrup is very sweet, so the overall taste is perfectly balanced.

This is not the only special thing about the famous mochi from Yamanashi!

DSCF0518They are traditionally wrapped into Furoshiki, a wrapping cloth used to transport clothes, gifts or lunch boxes. They come in many different colors and patterns, with traditional Japanese ornament.

Each portion of mochi is wrapped with a small bottle of sugar syrup and a wooden fork. You can pour the syrup over the rice cakes, brew yourself some green tea and enjoy nice Japanese atmosphere. Maybe even start learning how to wrap your lunchbox into a Furoshiki cloth?