I have been a fan of Umezono’s mitarashi dango for about six or seven years now since I purchased some sold for a limited time in the デパ地下depa-chika (basement food floor) of Daimaru…how can you not like how perfectly bite-size they are and how they are shaped like bricks instead of the usual round shape for which mitarashi dango is known? Not to mention how chewy that the texture is and how the subtle sweet taste pervades the mouth as one chews.
After lunch at Raisin one mid-May afternoon this year, Maki and I agreed that we were in the mood for shaved ice. Even though it was warm enough to make one crave something cold, it was still too early for most shops to serve shaved ice. But we were sure that Umezono had shaved ice; even if they didn’t, I didn’t mind having the mitarashi dango instead, pretty much a win-win situation.
the view of the traditional-style original shop, surrounded by more modern shops, while crossing Kawaramachi…it has been about six or seven years since I’ve gone in, although I’ve often passed it.
the view of the front from the narrow hallway once inside
The mitarashi dango and other Japanese sweets sold here can taken to go…the owner grills the dango right in front of you.
I wasn’t joking about the narrowness, huh? I had to press myself against the wall when the waitresses came when we got to certain points in the line.
Finally we got a seat; this was the first time that I sat down to have something (before I just bought dango to go). Notice the narrow tables from the the past (probably from about 86 years ago when it was founded) giving just enough private space? If you like plenty of space, though, don’t go with anyone with whom you’re not too comfortable, haha!
Although we had plenty of time to pore over the menu while waiting, we still needed some time to decide because everything looked good. Maki finally decided on the 白玉宇治みるくshira-tama Uji-miruku (Uji green tea & milk shaved ice topped with rice-flour dumplings), ￥800, which came with extra green tea syrup.
I was tempted to get the same thing as Maki but ended up ordering the 宇治みるくUji-miruku (Uji green tea & milk shaved ice), ￥750, and みたらし団子mitarashi dango (dumplings on a stick covered with a sweet soy glaze), ￥250 (the mitarashi dango made up for my lack of shira-tama).
A luxurious way to have ice that is as rich as it’s refreshing…although I got extra green tea syrup as well, I didn’t use it. The mitarashi dango was amazing as always, definitely best to have it right off the grill. I definitely recommend this place for a Kyoto sweets experience!
There are two other shops as well in case you’re not in the Kawaramachi area: one in the Kiyomizu area and うめぞのUmezono CAFE & GALLERY.