Cool stuff from Japan: Beautiful traditional candies
Traditional Japanese food is known for being beautiful and colorful. Nowhere is this more evident than with these jewel-like traditional candies from Kyoto.
The ones in the box here are ame (飴) or hard sugar candies. They mostly just taste like pure sugar, though a couple have some fruit flavor. But I find it hard to eat them anyway - they are so gorgeous.
The bumpy ones are kompeito (コンペイ糖 or 金平糖), which you may know from various anime and manga. They are simply colored candy, but rather fun to eat.
The ones with the flower designs are called kintaro ame (金太郎飴). You see versions of this type of candy in many other countries, known by various names. Glass and polymer clay beads are made with this ‘cane’ method too. These candies are so dainty and pretty, aren’t they?.
I don’t know what these ball shaped ones are called, but they are so cute. They look like little embroidered balls that girls used to play with called temari (手鞠).
Kyoto has a long tradition of find handcrafts, but Tokyo is not to be outdone either. These way too cute to eat things are hard sugar coated chocolate dragées in the shape of hina dolls, or hina ningyo, the dolls that are brought out to celebrate hina matsuri (see about hina matsuri here).