Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Top Three Taiyaki Makers in Tokyo’s Kichijōji

Speaking of the must-eat street food in Kichijōji in Tokyo‘s city center’s outskirts, the taiyaki has to be one of them. The fish-shape pastry is one of the top street foods in Japan and a must-eat when you explore the beautiful country! While taiyaki can be found across the country, some are just ordinary. So here are the best taiyaki makers for you to try out when you visit Kichijōji!

Table of Contents

About Taiyaki

Compared to other Japanese sweet snacks, taiyaki’s history is short. It only started appearing on the street in 1909.

Sea bream, or Tai (鯛) in Japanese, was so expensive that the commoners couldn’t afford it. Therefore, a sea bream-shaped pastry was made for the less wealthy so that it would feel like they were eating something luxurious.

Amane (有職たい菓子本舗 天音)

The first taiyaki maker that we want to introduce is Amane. Located in Harmonica Yokochō, Amane is one of the reasons that people visit the small alley during the day. Obviously, we didn’t feature the pastry maker due to its location. Amane’s taiyaki is popular because it is still tasty when cold.

Like most freshly grilled taiyaki, the outer layer is crispy. But, instead of white sugar, brown sugar is used to make the red bean paste at Amane. This is probably the secret to its deliciousness!

Like most taiyaki makers, Amane uses a mold to make a batch of taiyaki in one go. But its pastry’s skin is surprisingly thin. So when you bite into Amane’s taiyaki, the filling bursts out in your mouth.

Probably wanting to balance out the amount of filling with the cake, the taiyaki at Amane looks like a 3-D fish-tiled pattern. The crispy edge is great to eat on its own or with the overflowing filling!

The taiyaki at Amane has two flavors: red bean paste and a limited edition flavor. No matter which flavor you order, the sweetness level of the filling and batter is just perfect. It is no wonder why Amane has many returned customers!

Tip:
☛ The limited edition flavor of the day usually sells out by 1 pm. Be there early if you want to try the flavor!
☛ If the black sesame paste flavor is available on the day, we recommend that you try it so that you can discover how well the taste of black sesame can be balanced with red bean paste!

In addition to its signatory snack, the dango rice cake skewers are also what people would queue up for. Be there early to try their Kurumidare (くるみだれ) dango. The walnut flavor is popular and sells out fast! The Grilled Soy Sauce (焼き醤油) is another popular flavor. The rice cake is grilled with two layers of unsweetened soy sauce applied, making it a great snack for those who dislike sweet desserts.

Taiyaki vs Taikashi

At Amane, rather than being referred to as taiyaki makers, they call themselves taikashi (たい菓子) makers. Kashi means confectionary. Because the taiyaki made at Amane doesn’t harden but stays soft, it can be consumed as a confectionary. So instead of taiyaki, the pastry maker called it taikashi.

Amane’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Amane is open from 11 am to 6 pm or until sold out.
  • The taiyaki maker is just a 1-minute walk from Kichijoji Station’s north exit.

Kuriko-an (くりこ庵 吉祥寺店)

Yokohama’s KURIKO-an (くりこ庵) also has a store in Kichijōji. It is the taiyaki maker for those who prefer thicker and chewy batter, as well as seasonal and unique flavors. As the egg portion in the batter is twice the amount of the usual recipe, Kuriko-an’s taiyaki has a fluffy skin. While the freshly made taiyaki is the best, it is another shop to source taiyaki if you want to save it for later.

Moreover, because Kuriko-an is open until 9 pm, it is a great place for late-night snacks!

The taiyaki cake filled with red bean paste or custard tastes amazing. Surprisingly, it isn’t too sweet that you will need a cup of tea after a couple of bites. If you like chestnuts, you will love their Kurikoan (くりこあん) flavor as the red bean paste is mixed with diced chestnuts!

Besides the sweet flavors, savory flavors are also available. The Camembert Cheese Cream (カマンベールチーズクリーム) taiyaki, for example, is a good choice for vegetarians who consume eggs.

From time to time, Kuriko-an also has themed taiyaki. So if you visit Kuriko-an during the limited edition season, your taiyaki might be a Magicarp (Pokémon) or other interesting shapes!

Kuriko-an’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Kuriko-an Kichijoji shop is open from 10 am to 9 pm.
  • The taiyaki maker is just a 2-minute walk from Kichijoji Station’s north exit.

Taiyaki no Yoshikawa (鯛焼きのよしかわ)

The last taiyaki maker we recommend is Taiyaki no Yoshikawa. Although it is just a street stall in a timber shop’s parking lot, the taiyaki made there is so phenomenal that some locals even call it ‘fanciful taiyaki’ (Mamoroshi no Taiyaki, 幻のたい焼き). And the great news is that it is egg and dairy-free!

Taiyaki no Yoshikawa uses the traditional method called Itchōyaki (一丁焼き) to make the pastry. The taiyakis there are made individually. The batter is applied to the mold twice. After a rough shape is completed, a thin layer of skin wraps the filling, with another layer of batter being pulled into the mold. The resulting cake thus has a crispy thin outer layer and a chewy interior!

The red bean paste inside the taiyaki isn’t over-kneaded that the bean’s texture remains. But at the same time, the paste is creamy. Reducing the sugar, Taiyaki no Yoshikawa’s pastry is loved by many. If you like the bean paste, you can also purchase it from Mr. Yoshikawa!

Tips:
☛ It is best to reserve your taiyaki as it takes time to make the pastry.
☛ You can choose to add the mochi rice cake to your order!

Taiyaki no Yoshikawa’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Taiyaki no Yoshikawa is open from 11:30 am to 7 pm from Friday to Wednesday.
  • On Saturdays, the stall is in the car park of Katsumata Timber (勝又木材) in Kichijōji.
    • Katsumata Timber is a 7-minute walk from Kichijoji Station.
  • On other days, it is in front of the Dydo Drinco Ice Arena (ダイドードリンコアイスアリーナ) in Higashifushimi (東伏見).
    • Dydo Dorinco Ice Arena is at Seibu’s Higashifushimi Station’s south exit.
  • Check Mr. Yoshikawa’s Twitter or call him at 090-8560-5049 to confirm if he is selling on the day you plan to visit.

Discover the Attractions in Kichijōji

Inokashira-Park-Cherry-Blossom-and-Swan-Boats-Kichijoji-Tokyo-Japan
Click the photo for the attractions to visit in Kichijōji!

Kichijōji isn’t just about the taiyaki makers that we have introduced above. The neighborhood that was rated “The Most Desirable Area to Live” in is great for almost everything. It is also where the famous Ghibli Museum is located!

So, for more ideas of what to do in the area, refer to our Kichijōji article!

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