Surrounded by nature, the town of Mizuho is an hour and 20 minute train ride from Shinjuku. It's known as the greatest producer of Sayama tea in Tokyo. It's also a town filled with shops that make handmade sweets that go perfectly with tea. Let's look for specialties whose flavor the locals can vouch for.
Our trip begins at the center for disseminating information about Mizuho culture—Koshinkan. The main building was built in the late Edo period, and used to be home to soy sauce brewing and silkworm-farming businesses. Now it hosts concerts and exhibitions.
The first shop we visit is Iseya, a Japanese sweets shop founded in 1952. Their Zuiho Monaka is popular due to the gentle sweetness of the large Dainagon red beans from Bitchu, Okayama. It's a gem that's been beloved by the locals for over 30 years.
Our second stop is Tamago Kobo Ueno, a café where you can enjoy sweets made from plenty of eggs laid by free-range chickens at the café's farm.
The sweets made by the mother and daughter who run the café just for fun were so popular, they decided to start a business. Besides the eggs, the flour is home-grown organically and without chemical fertilizers, and the milk is from Mizuho, so you can enjoy the gentle flavor with peace of mind.
The main attraction at our next stop, Enomotoya, is the Udekkoki Chestnut Dorayaki with a whole boiled chestnut inside with the bitter skin still on. The manager, Kazumi Enomoto is particular about these chestnuts, saying "When I boil them, I add soy sauce and mirin as secret ingredients, which complement them perfectly."