July 05, 16 | Fumiko Magota
Asahikawa “Tsuboya Kibana no Mori”, the factory of the signature confection “Kibana” is public!
Tsuboya x Asahikawa products collaborationThe building designed by architecture office of the famous architect Kengo Kuma use plenty of pine wood produced in Hokkaido. The cafe with Asahikawa furniture is built next to the bright shelves full of sunlight which sell confections. They have lots of books which are free to read. The second-floor seats are also very comfortable.
▲The cafe faced to the inner garden. (Photo provided by Tsuboya)
▲You can get to the second-floor seats from the stairs at the back.
At the shop, all “Tsuboya” confections are purchasable.
The unique product here is the collaboration confection with local products.
For example, “Nama Shoyu Pie” (raw soy sauce pie) use raw soy sauce produced by soy sauce producer “Kikko Nihon”. And “Jizake Hiramanju” (sake bun) which use local sake “Taisetsunokura” produced by “Godohusei Asahikawa Factory” instead of water to skin and wrap Hokkaido azuki paste.
Both of them are born from discussions with volunteered citizens. Those are popular as a souvenir and gifts as a local taste.
Also, “Sanji no Pan” (Bread at three o’clock) is a new type of manju, which wrapped chewy paste with chewy bread like dough. This is also a collaboration with volunteered citizens and sold limitedly at this store.
Freshly baked “Kamadashi Apple Pie” is one of the most popular sweets which is sold out every day.
All flavors of the specialty “Kibana” are hereBy the way, “Kibana” of “Kibana no Mori” is the specialty of Tsuboya. Kibana sands white chocolate with thick galette like dough contains plenty of crushed almonds. Kibana no Mori is the only place in Hokkaido where all flavors of Kibana are sold, such as strawberry and chocolate.
Not only the standard Kibana but also have varieties. Such as “Putimo” series which is smaller than standard Kibana, and limited package with popular animals in Asahiyama Zoo. It is fun to decide which one to purchase.
▲The standard Kibana. Very crunchy texture and has thick taste of chocolate and dough with almond aroma.
Kibana was born in 1982. Made from an image of diamond dust.
“The start was summer season a long time ago when confections are hard to sell. We had extra time to produce so tried to make something new without compromising” says Mr. Akinori Muramoto, Senior Vice President.
They experimented taste and procedure thoroughly. For example, they used spoons to extend the dough to make the shape of circle one by one! Today, they use machines, and you can also see how they produce Kibana, but those were still hand-made until seven or eight years ago…!
It is understandable that Kibana is so famous as delicious souvenirs from Hokkaido.
▲The man above is Mr. Muramoto. You can see the procedure of making Kibana through the glass.
By the way, Cook Lab next to the confection shop offers workshops, and there is a workshop to make your own “Kibana”. You can choose if you want to participate from baking the dough or putting chocolate on prepared cookies. Duration is about 20 minutes to one hour (if you participate from baking, it will take some more time). The program is available from three people and needs a reservation seven days ahead.
▲Fun and delicious Kibana workshop with the pastry chef. Draw illustrations on big “Kibana”. They have a special box to put the cookie in, so perfect as a gift as well.
Original gifts with flowersThe small room behind the confection shop is Sweets Concierge Desk. In this room, a concierge makes a perfect gift asking you objectives and budgets, such as “birthday gift” or “wedding gifts”. Mixing the gifts from the flower shop or select shops are also welcomed. Make your own sweets gift to a someone special!
▲This is Sweets Concierge Desk. He made me a gift box with Tsuboya’s specialty “Tsubo Monaka”, some other confections, and flowers!
“Tsuboya” is established in 1929 and loved by citizens of Asahikawa. “Kibana no Mori” is not only a destination for shopping but for rest, fun, and eating. Why don’t you stop by?
▲The inner garden (Photo provided by / Tsuboya)
Text / Hokkaido Likers Writer FUKKO
Photo / Yasuyoshi Otaki