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. Thus, you are guaranteed that the mochi you purchase or order are fresh!
Table of Contents
- Why Is the Rice Cake at Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House Delicious?
- The Must-Eat at Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House
- How to Cook the Mochi Rice Cake at Home
- Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House’s Business Hours and Access Information
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? The 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 rice received the highest rating among the 50 or so different types of glutinous rice. It isn’t just sweeter but is also more sticky and stretches 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 are able to 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 in the photo. As it isn’t sold every day, please plan your visit carefully with the business hours information 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 a confectionary that is hard to stop eating!
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 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 here are all made from glutinous rice powder too. Potato starch is also added. Thus, the noodles served at the restaurant have a different texture from noodles made from wheat. 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 that it isn’t too plain to eat.
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-maid plain mochi to bring home, here is how to cook them. The rice cake will slowly inflate as it is heated up. It is like making a balloon with rice cake!
After the rice cake is cooked, dip it in soy sauce or enjoy it with other sweet paste 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 – 5 minutes and leave the rice cake in the toaster for another 1 – 2 minutes. The mochi should be crispy outside and chewy inside.
- By microwave: put the rice cake in hot water and heat it for 1 – 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 – 6 minutes.
- By grilling over a charcoal fire: place the rice cake on a net, with the heat coming from the charcoal fire below.
Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi House’s Business Hours and Access Information
Important: Kōka Mochifuru Sato-kan Mochimochi is temporarily closed from the 29th of May to the 15 of September 2023.
- 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).
- You can also rent a bicycle from Terashō Station.
Discover Other Fascinating Attractions in Kōka City
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.