News from Ise: 伊勢だより

伊勢だより Ise dayori roughly means “news from Ise.” Ise 伊勢 is located in Mie prefecture.

Yesterday while I was at the department store product fair I ate akafuku mochi. Afterwards, while in the “tea shop” sitting area, I noticed some of these small papers with rather interesting pictures on one side and some descriptions on the back. They were free, I picked up a few since I rather liked the artwork and decided I could read them closer later.

I found out that these papers are included on every box of akafuku mochi; they are printed every day with various themes of Ise, with news of their culture, history, landscape, food, religion, and more. It is a letter made every day from the shopkeeper to the customers. I guess it is also to help promote tourism of the area, but I thought this was a really nice idea. Also maybe it has worked, because now I feel like maybe I want to visit Ise…

You can also view these on their website.

I picked up papers for March 14, 15 and 16 shown below:


Akafuku Mochi: 赤福餅

赤福餅 akafuku mochi is a famous type of mochi from Ise 伊勢 in Mie prefecture 三重県. It has a 300 year history.

赤 aka means “red” and 福 fuku means “luck.” 餅 mochi is rice cake.

At the Mie-Nagoya products fair, I got a tea set for only 210yen that included 2 pieces of akafuku mochi and tea.

Akafuku mochi is made with such smooth delicious bean paste, shaped in peaks to symbolize the ripples of the Isuzu river that flows through the Ise grand shrine region. Inside is mochi (rice cake) that represents the smooth white river pebbles.

The taste is amazing; they use no preservatives or artificial coloring and the azuki beans used are from Hokkaido, the mochi is made from all domestic mochi rice.