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.


Hekoki Manjuu へこきまんじゅう: Fart-inducing cakes

Today I went to a products fair for Nagoya and Mie held at the department store. There was this really tempting looking manjuu from Mie prefecture; it had a batter made with satsuma-imo (Japanese sweet potato). It was called hekoki manjuu へこきまんじゅう.

屁こき (へこき) hekoki: means “breaking wind” or “farting.”

饅頭 (まんじゅう) manjuu is just a type of Japanese steamed bun or cake. Some people romanize it as “manju” with only 1 u.

So these are “cakes” that make you pass gas. Hmmm. I read that sweet potatoes can make you more gassy.

There were many types to choose from but I got the one with cream cheese and cranberry in the middle and it was very delicious. The batter is made from sweet potato which made the texture and taste so yummy. I would really recommend trying these, but maybe not too many at one time…

I didn’t get a picture of the manjuu cake itself since I was too hungry to wait. At the time I was thinking of my stomach and hadn’t planned to write an entry about it. But then I thought that fart-inducing cakes seemed like a pretty interesting/unique food as well as being incredibly oishii 美味しい. I suppose whenever I make it to Mie prefecture, I will have to find their original shop!