Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Best Mochi at Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House

If you are after one of Japan’s most delicious mochi rice cakes, make sure Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House (甲賀もちふる里館 もちもちハウス) in Shiga Prefecture‘s Kōka City is on your itinerary. The facility is basically a rice cake workshop with a shop and a restaurant attached – it is guaranteed that the mochi you purchase or order is fresh!

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Why Is the Rice Cake at Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House Delicious?

Wondering what the secret to the deliciousness of the rice cake is? Mochi rice!

The Kosaji area (小佐治) in Kōka, where the rice cake maker is located, was a part of Lake Biwa three million years ago. So instead of sandy soil, Kosaji is filled with heavy clay soil, perfect for cultivating a type of glutinous rice called Shiga Haputae-mochi (滋賀羽二重糯).

This type of glutinous rice received the highest rating among the 50 or so different types. It isn’t just sweeter but also stickier and stretches out better when made into rice cakes.

However, it is hard to grow. Its stem is so long that the rice ears easily drop off to the ground. This is why not many places in the world can cultivate Shiga Haputae-mochi rice!

The Must-Eat at Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House

Apart from the pre-packed rice cake sold in the shop, the most popular menu item is the freshly made mochi (as appeared in the photo). Because it isn’t made available every day, please plan your visit carefully with the business hours information detailed below.

For something to take away, grab one of the green Yomogi An-mochi (よもぎあん餅). Yomogi is a kind of herb that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan uses Yomogi from local farms to make their super stretchy Yomogi Mochi. The red bean paste isn’t too sweet, making it hard for us to stop bingeing!

Another special item on the menu is Komeko Taiyaki (米粉たい焼き). The fish-shaped cake is also made from rice powder. But note that it is only sold at JA Kōka Farmer’s Market (JAこうか 花野果市 水口店 ) on weekends.

Besides the rice cakes, the noodles there are also made from glutinous rice powder. Potato starch is also added, which gives the noodles served at the restaurant a different texture from regular wheat noodles. If you are allergic to wheat, it is time to taste some noodles!

Another vegetarian dish you can try is called Yasai Okowa (野菜おこわ). It is basically a rice dish cooked with glutinous rice and vegetables. The rice is nicely seasoned too.

Important: The savory Taiyaki and the noodle soup broth are not vegetarian.

How to Cook the Mochi Rice Cake at Home


If you have grabbed a few bags of pre-made plain mochi to bring back home, here is how to cook them. The rice cake will slowly inflate as it heats up. It is like making a balloon out of rice cake!

After the rice cake is cooked, dip it in soy sauce or enjoy it with other sweet paste/spread you may have at home. On a cold winter day, you can eat the rice cake with soup.

  • By small oven toaster: heat for 4 to 5 minutes and leave the rice cake in the toaster for another 1 to 2 minutes. The mochi should be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
  • By microwave: place the rice cake in hot water and heat it for 1 to 2 minutes. The outcome should be similar to the freshly made mochi.
  • On a hot plate: flip the rice cake while heating it up for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Grilling over a charcoal fire: place the rice cake on a net over the charcoal fire.

Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • The shop is open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
  • The restaurant is open from 10:30 am to 4 pm on weekends and public holidays.
    • The last order for light meals is taken at 2 pm.
    • The freshly made mochi rice cake is only available on weekends.
  • The Komeko Taiyaki is sold on weekends and may only be available at JA Kōka Farmer’s Market (JAこうか 花野果市 水口店 ).
  • From JR Terashō Station (寺庄駅), take the Kōka City Community Bus’s (甲賀市コミュニティバス) Sayama Line (佐山線) and get off at Kosaji Kōminkan (小佐治公民館).
    • As the number of services is limited, please refer to HERE and click (佐山線) underneath the 3rd map.
    • You can also download one of Japan’s Transport Apps to plan your trip.
  • You can also rent a bicycle from Terashō Station.

Discover Other Fascinating Attractions in Kōka City

Click the photo to find out more about this breathtaking scenery!

Kōka City in Shiga Prefecture is known for its ninja-themed attractions and is the hometown of one of the Six Ancient Kilns in Japan.

Furthermore, there are a couple of hidden gems for cherry blossom and fall foliage hunting. So check out our article on Kōka City and start planning your next trip (=゚ω゚)ノ.

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