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Kinkato - Japanese Sweets Displayed at the Doll Festival in Kanazawa, Ishikawa

This video, titled "[4K Video] Kinkato at Hinamatsuri in Northern Japan: Kanazawa, Ishikawa|" (【4K動画】北国の雛(ひな)祭りを彩る金花糖:石川県金沢市|, was uploaded by ""
It introduces "kinkato," a lucky sugar candy displayed with Hina dolls during Hinamatsuri (The Doll Festival), a traditional Japanese event held on March 3 every year to wish for the healthy growth of girls.
In Kanazawa, Ishikawa, located in Japan's Koshinetsu region, the tradition of displaying "kinkato," a traditional Japanese sweet, has been passed down as part of Japanese confectionery culture and colorfully decorates Hinamatsuri, which comes at the end of the long winter in northern Japan.

This article will explain the culture and traditions of kinkato.
In the video, you'll see kinkato in various shapes, including sea bream, gourds, etc., which are displayed with the dolls on the hina-dan (the stage that holds the dolls during Hinamatsuri).
Be sure to check out the video to get an idea of what kinkato is like and how it's used as a decoration.

More About the Traditional Japanese Sweet Kinkato

Image of Hina dolls
Photo:Hina dolls

It is said that the origin and roots of kinkato can be traced back to trade with the Portuguese in the mid-1500's, when things like konpeito and ariheito were presented to rulers during Hinamatsuri in Kanazawa, a castle town of the Kaga Domain during the Edo period (1603-1868 A.D.).
After the Kaga Domain was abolished, these products spread to the general public as sweet confections to be displayed with Hina dolls, and were also used as wedding gifts.

In the process of making kinkato, white granulated sugar that has been melted and turned into syrup is poured into a wooden mold carved by a skilled confectioner, which is then cooled gradually to make the inside hollow.
After that, it is removed from the mold and pieces are colored one by one with food coloring by a Japanese confectionery chef.
Kinkato is a delicate, handmade product that requires careful monitoring of temperatures, humidity, and other factors.

Kinkato is often shaped to look like seafood, such as sea bream, clams, and turban shells, or vegetables, such as bamboo shoots, eggplants, cucumbers, and mushrooms, or fruits, such as peaches and grapes.
They are also shaped into lucky talismans, such as mandarin ducks.
Kinkato" is similar to kohakuto, but the difference is that kohakuto is made from sugar and agar.

Kinkato is still carefully handmade by long-established Japanese confectioners in Kanazawa and can be purchased online from Yamamoto Seika (山本製菓), Mannendo (まんねん堂), and other retailers.
Since these sweets are elaborate and so difficult to make that only skilled wagashi craftsmen can make them, the price for a small decoration of two or three items can cost around 3,000 yen, while some larger items can exceed 10,000 yen.
In addition, they are often sold only during Hinamatsuri and other limited periods of the year.
From 0:20 in the video, you can see a close-up of kinkato, so be sure to check out the colorful and delicate handiwork.

You may also be wondering what happens to kinkato after it's been used as a decoration.
The most common use of kinkato is to season nimono.
It can also be crushed into small pieces and eaten as a candy-like snack, or added to coffee.
This makes kinkato a waste-free decoration that can be used as sugar.
Mint flavor is also available, and there are products that can simply be eaten as is.

Summary of Kinkato, a Tradition Springtime Confection in Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Please enjoy the video "[4K Video] Kinkato at Hinamatsuri in Northern Japan: Kanazawa, Ishikawa|," which shows beautiful images of kinkato displayed with Hina dolls.

If you find these cute and colorful sweets appealing, consider purchasing your own kinkato and displaying it in your home with the arrival of spring!

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Last Updated : Mar. 2, 2023
I'm a writer who likes to eat good food wherever I go
Kinkato: The Japanese Sweet That's Too Good to Eat! A Look at the Colorful Treats That Decorate the Doll Festival in Kanazawa, Ishikawa!
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