January Maker’s Story: Chocolates with a Japanese Twist from Edogoshiya

January Maker’s Story: Chocolates with a Japanese Twist from Edogoshiya

One of the most thrilling yet challenging adventures one can experience in Japan is shopping for souvenirs. Trust us, we know how the struggles of trying to snag that perfect item that captures your time in Japan—it's a quest we've all been on!

Edogoshiya (江戸越屋) aims to be exactly that brand that comes to mind when one thinks about souvenirs from Japan. We spoke to Mr. Ohne (大根) from the Planning & Promotion Department (企画推進部) to tell us more about how Edogoshiya represents both the storied history and exciting future of Japanese snacks.

 

The exciting Ikimachi Shokora series from EdogoshiyaThe exciting Ikimachi Shokora series from Edogoshiya | Photo by Edogoshiya

 

Could you share with us the history behind Edogoshiya and its origins?

Our parent company, Yoshimura (株式会社 吉村), has been in the Japanese tea business for 90 years. In recent years, we expanded our operations to explore confectionery that pairs well with tea.

Initially, we commercialized traditional Japanese confectionery such as karinto (花林糖 deep-fried snack made with dough and brown sugar) and umeboshi (梅干 pickled plums). However, we began to wonder, “Surely there are other non-Japanese confectioneries that can also pair well with Japanese tea…” We pondered over the question of what kind of snack is beloved by people of all ages in Japan, and we concluded that it was chocolate.

The character "越" in the brand name Edogoshiya expresses our desire to transcend conventional norms and times. The "Ikimachi Shokora" (粋町しょこら) series by our brand is the very embodiment of encouraging new ways of enjoying tea time moments.

 

Ikimachi Shokora series of Japanese chocolates are best paired with Japanese tea
Ikimachi Shokora series of Japanese chocolates are best paired with Japanese tea | Photo by Edogoshiya

 

Tell us more about Edogoshiya’s concept and Ikimachi Shokora!

The concept for Edogoshiya is that it is a Japanese brand with “a taste of sophistication that makes your heart leap with excitement”「思わず心が躍りだす 小粋な“味” 」 . We want everyone who picks up an item from Edogoshiya to feel excited, and to bring smiles to the faces of both the giver and the receiver. 

As our flagship series, "Ikimachi Shokora" are Japanese-style craft chocolates that go well with Japanese tea. This series has sold more than 1 million units in its 9-year history since its launch. With a total of 10 flavours, it has gained high praise as a Japanese tea-pairing sweet and was featured in the tea "World Tea Festival 2022” (世界お茶まつり2022). The chocolate has a delightful melt-in-the-mouth texture and is topped with Japanese-style ingredients.


Japanese craft chocolate that features a beautiful blend of strawberries and roasted brown rice puffsIkimachi Shokora Ichigo & Genmai is a craft chocolate that features a beautiful blend of strawberries and roasted brown rice puffs | Photo by Edogoshiya

 

We are happy to share that the Ikimachi Shokora Ichigo & Genmai flavour is in this month’s Omiyage Snack Box. Ikimachi Shokora Ichigo & Genmai 「粋町しょこら いちごに玄米」is a delightful blend of sweet and sour; freeze-dried strawberries (ichigo) are kneaded into the slightly sweet and sour strawberry milk chocolate. You can enjoy the grainy texture of the strawberries and the crunchy texture of the savoury roasted brown rice (genmai) puffs.

 

Charming Japanese motifs on a Japanese snack packaging
Charming Japanese motifs can be seen on the packaging of Ikimachi Shokora | Photo by Edogoshiya

Adorned with charming motifs of the auspicious orizuri (origami crane) and mari (traditional ball) symbol representing harmony, grace, and good health, the cute packaging adds an extra touch of charm to these delectable treats and is a popular snack amongst men and women of all ages.

 

Delicious craft chocolate with a cute and purposeful packaging that prevents flavour deteriorationDelicious craft chocolate with a cute and purposeful packaging that prevents flavour deterioration | Photo by Edogoshiya

 

It is a very cute snack, it’s no wonder it’s so popular amongst many! Are there any secrets as to why they taste so delicious? 

Our original craft chocolates, which are created with consideration for compatibility with the various toppings, emphasise the balance of ingredients such as cocoa, milk, and sugar. They are characterised by a gentle sweetness and richness. Furthermore, the high craftsmanship of artisans is applied to achieve the secret to deliciousness—smooth melting. Toppings that add texture and flavour have been thoughtfully placed on these meticulously crafted chocolates for the finishing touch.

Besides the snack product itself, our packaging is also designed to prevent flavour deterioration, as a result of leveraging on our company’s know-how gained over many years of operating businesses related to delicate Japanese teas. This is why they have a long shelf life, and are often a popular choice as souvenirs for foreign tourists.

 

Representatives of Edogoshiya receving an award
Photo by Edogoshiya

 

Are there any fun facts about your Edogoshiya that you would like readers to know?

Our company is located in Togoshi (戸越), a neighbourhood in Shinagawa Ward in Tokyo. One of the various theories explaining the origin of Togoshi is that it means “crossing over Edo” (“江戸を越える”), as one enters Sagami Province when crossing from Edo (the old name for Tokyo) to the present-day Togoshi. The brand name "Edogoshiya" is named after the former name of the place.


Togoshi Ginza at nightTogoshi Ginza Shopping Street | Photo by photoAC

 

That’s so interesting! Are there any local attractions or sightseeing spots that you would recommend in the area of Togoshi? 

Togoshi has the longest shopping street in Tokyo, called Togoshi Ginza Shopping Street (戸越銀座商店街). It is approximately 1.3 km long, lined with around 400 shops and it is famous for being an exciting street populated with many food and snack options to explore while walking around.

To get to Togoshi Ginza Shopping Street, you can take the train to Togoshi-Ginza Station (戸越銀座駅) on the Tokyu Ikegami Line (池上線) or Togoshi Station (戸越駅) on the Tokyo Metro Asakusa Line (浅草線).


Edogoshiya pop-up staffPhoto by Edogoshiya

 

What a great recommendation! Togoshi Ginza Shopping Street sounds like a great place to get souvenirs, too. Are any Edogoshiya products sold overseas?

We rarely export our products abroad because many of our products are meant to be purchased as souvenirs for sightseeing in Japan. We hope that you will take this chance to enjoy a taste of Japan in this month’s Omiyage Snack Box!

 

Edogoshiya pop-up in Tokyo
Edogoshiya pop-up shop in Tokyo | Photo by Edogoshiya

 

We think our members will look forward to this delicious snack! Do you have any message to send across to our readers at JAPAN RAIL CLUB?

At Edogoshiya, we create products where you can feel the essence of Japan through our products' content and packaging. Our products are also currently sold at pop-up stores in JR Tokyo Station and several other stations in Tokyo. When you visit Japan, we hope that you will see Edogoshiya's products as great Japanese souvenirs to buy for your loved ones!



Subscribe to JAPAN RAIL CLUB’s Snack Box Subscription Plan to try our featured snack from  Edogoshiya: Ikimachi Shokora Ichigo & Genmai Chocolate and many other Japanese treats in “Ichigo, Ichie” Omiyage Snack Box, exclusively available in January 2024. Order yours now!

Meet the author

Sue Lynn

Currently based in Tokyo, Sue Lynn first came to Japan as a university exchange student. With 6 years of experience in Japan's inbound tourism, she is familiar with Japan, particularly on rail passes and East Japan spots, and has a passion for travelling.

Sue is also passionate about Japan's thrifting culture, and is keen to uncover more hidden gems while visiting all 47 prefectures during her stay in Japan.

Sue's 5Cs are cats, cameras, cinema, climbing, and city pop. Ask her about how her favourite JR Pass (JR TOKYO Wide Pass) saved her life (and wallet).

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