Saturday, October 11, 2008


Day eighty-two: Dōgu

Since I have vague plans to try my hand at making some simple wagashi on my own once I leave Japan, I've had to invest in some dōgu (tools) to go with my zairyō (ingredients). Throughout my trip I've collected a surprising amount of great stuff at the ¥100 shop (the Japanese dollar store), but today I made a last-minute run to Kappabashi Dori, Tokyo's famed street of restaurant supply stores.

I picked up some pans for molding yokan and other jellies, but talked myself out of a set of expensive mesh sieves. At a handful of shops I bought intricate little cutters like the ones above for making an arboretum's worth of leaves and a fair few species of fish. I also bought small ceramic molds (a comic face, some stylized water patterns) for making summer sweets, but could only oggle the pristine new kashigata (carved wooden confectionery molds) and their many-zeroed price tags.

I also checked out the plastic wagashi at a couple of model food stores, but found that none could hold a candle to the real thing.

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