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The Odawara-Hakone Minkei Keizai Shinbun reports on a mixing of some traditional autumn elements – sake, chestnuts and… cake!

Local Japanese sweet shop Natural Wagashi Kōbō citron has produced a seasonal special entitled Waguri Pound Cake – Tsukimi de Ippai (和栗パウンドケーキ~月見で一杯~, Japanese chestnut pound cake – a drink while gazing upon the moon).

[Why does a cake need a title? Anyway.]

Owner and patissier Yoshimi Ōwada is delighted to receive the harvest of Japanese chestnuts after a year of unstable weather. Some trees were felled, while others died, leaving growers desperate to save what they could. Ōwada feels honoured to be able to work with the fruits [or nuts] of their labour.

The chestnuts are sourced from two producers, carefully peeled by hand, then gently boiled in syrup over a long period of time before being used in the pound cake. Ōwada chose to add sake to the cake to bring out the natural flavour of the chestnuts, instead of the more common Western alcohols. [The article doesn’t say what those are.] Pairing Japanese sake with Japanese chestnuts, Ōwada sources his additional ingredient from a an Ishikawa Prefecture brewery that carefully controls its production all the way from growing its own rice.

One slice will set you back JPY 320, while a large cake costs JPY 3,180 and a thin one JPY 2,400 (both boxed). Ōwada also plans to turn the precious chestnuts into more traditional desserts such as mont blanc.


  • Original article (Japanese, Odawara-Hakone Minkei Keizai Shinbun, 7 September 2018)