Release | Yoko Sasaki
Desserts born from love to the hometown at the cafe filled with attractions of Asahikawa
“Fukuyoshi Cafe” is filled with attractions of Asahikawa; in its menu, in its building, and the location. The owner’s affection towards Asahikawa is something not comparable to anything.
The cafe is located at the foot of Asahi Bridge, the icon of AsahikawaAsahikawa is located almost in the center of Hokkaido and it’s also called as “the city of rivers” as it contains about 130 large and small rivers including the largest river in Hokkaido called Ishikari River. There are many bridges as well and it is said that there are over 750 rivers in Asahikawa City.
Among those bridges, this Asahi Bridge is the favorite of Asahikawa citizens.
It was first built as an earth-paved bridge in 1892 and rebuilt to steel bridge with a structural arch in 1932.
▲Asahi Bridge is one of “the best three bridges in Hokkaido”. It is designated as one of the Hokkaido Heritage as well.
“Fukuyoshi Cafe” is located at the foot of Asahi Bridge. It renovated the historic building which was built in 1924 into a cafe and opened in 2016.
▲The building has a unique structure with the sidewall stacked Biei soft stone and the wooden facade.
The building changed its sign many times: first, it was a mill, then turned into storage, a tatami shop, a sports goods shop, a Japanese sweets shop, etc. It must have been together with various scenes of locals’ daily lives.
They put furniture made by local artisans and companies who made Asahikawa Furniture one of the world-class brands. The time passes slowly in the cafe as natural lights gently get inside.
▲The cafe faces the road going to Asahi Bridge and has big windows.
The cafe has stories of Asahikawa no matter which parts you seeThe specialty of “Fukuyoshi Cafe” is “Tokiwa-Yaki” which bakes special buttery danish dough with various fillings. Tokiwa comes from the address of the area: Tokiwa.
▲The photo is provided: It is stuffed with red bean paste. The paste is made with “Shumari”, Biei born red bean paste, and specially ordered to the long-established red bean paste processing factory Fukui Seianjo. They have red bean paste, cream, chocolate chip as standard fillings (230 yen each) and also offers 4 different limited flavors depending on the seasons.
The shape of “Tokiwa Yaki” is designed by the picture book creator from Asahikawa Makoto Horikawa. He uses Asahi Bridge as a motif. The mold is made by Usui Chutetsujo, which used to be one of the best casting factories in Asahikawa, however, ended the business now. Each element of Tokiwa Yaki contains stories of Asahikawa.
▲Tokiwa Yaki is delicious not only while it's hot but also after it gets cold.
You should try “Fukuyoshi Latte” with “Tokiwa Yaki”. It is their original drink containing three beautiful layers of red bean paste, milk, and matcha.
▲Provided photo: Other than “Fukuyoshi Latte (480 yen)” in the picture, they have other flavors such as “Fukuyoshi Latte Strawberry (530 yen)” mixed strawberry milk to Fukuyoshi Latte, or “Matcha Latte (420 yen)”, and “Shiruko Latte (420 yen).
Let’s ask Yusuke Ebikawa, the owner of the cafe, about the story of this drink.
“The Fukuyoshi Latte was created with the third generation of Fukui Seianjo, the producer of red bean paste used in Tokiwa Yaki, and the third generation of the tea shop in Asahikawa Yoshikawaen, when I was the assistant editor in chief of the local free newspaper. We all wanted to protect Japanese dessert culture, as chocolates and bottled drinks threatened red bean paste and teas.”
“Fukuyoshi Latte” was invited to product shows in Tokyo and festivals in Taiwan as it has historical backgrounds in the creation story.
▲“We must pour each element carefully to make the beautiful layers. This Japanese-like gesture is another attraction of this drink.”
I wrote a lot about deserts, but you can also have lunch at “Fukuyoshi Cafe”. They offer various filling meals such as “Keema Curry (780yen)” using Himawari Pork from Nayoro, and “Lunch Plate (980yen).
Mr. Ebikogawa told me that Keema Curry uses the same red bean paste as Tokiwa Yaki as a secret ingredient. We must check out their lunch, too.
The cafe to like Asahikawa more and more“The neighborhood is a school zone containing parks, library, museum, and literature museum. It is nice to take a slow walk in the neighborhood.” Mr. Ebikogawa told me. He wishes Fukuyoshi Cafe to be a place to rest while exploring the area and also a place to gather information.
To do that, he puts a bookshelf and displays books about the history of Asahikawa and literature related to Asahikawa. The cafe also has various sightseeing pamphlets of Asahikawa and north Hokkaido regions.
▲The director of Asahikawa Literary Museum donates some books.
▲“We will celebrate the 86th anniversary of Asahibashi since it was rebuilt to structural arch. We display various things related to Asahi Bridge that I borrowed from my friends and postcards made by local designers. Visitors seem like enjoying the display.”
Mr. Ebikogawa was filled with affection to Asahikawa. “The concept of this cafe is a place to like Asahikawa more and more. I want to spread attractions of Asahikawa to overseas as I cherish the place.”
▲“I’m proud of Asahikawa and tell everyone about Asahikawa in this cafe like I’m on a stage.”
Related Links- Fukuyoshi Cafe
Hokkaido Likers writer Yoko Sasaki
Photo / Kei Furuse, GAZEfotographica
Provided photos / ebisuke co., ltd.