Three Instagrammable Sweets you've got to try in Ayabe & Fukuchiyama, Kyoto

The classic sightseeing spots of Japan are well worth a visit, but if you’ve come all this way, have a taste of something different at some famous shops off the beaten path. Here, the att.JAPAN editors introduce you to interesting towns in Kyoto along with three cafes and patisseries we found that will steal your heart. Come with us on a little adventure!

We especially recommend the Kansai WIDE Area Pass! (Validity: 5 days) On your way from Kyoto or Osaka, enjoy the convenience of rail travel and stop off on a detour to Kinosaki Onsen or Amanohashidate.

What is the Fukuchiyama/Ayabe area?

Fukuchiyama City and Ayabe City are in northern Kyoto Prefecture. Both cities are easily accessible from Kyoto Station.

What kind of place is Fukuchiyama?

Fukuchiyama Station, which can be reached in as little as 80 minutes by train from Kyoto, and about 100 minutes from Osaka, is a transportation hub in North Kansai that connects with Kyoto Tango Railway, which is famous for Kuromatsu and Akamatsu trains. From Fukuchiyama, getting to either Amanohashidate or Kinosaki is easy. Fukuchiyama Castle, the only remaining castle tower in Kyoto Prefecture, is the symbol of the city, just 15 minutes’ walk from the station. Carrying on the culture of Kyoto, known as “the capital of Japanese sweets,” Fukuchiyama is chock full of shops selling all kinds of treats.

Fukuchiyama Castle and cherry blossom

What kind of place is Ayabe?

Situated next to Fukuchiyama, Ayabe City is famous for producing tea. Tea leaves from Ayabe are said to be of such high quality that most of them are used for one of Kyoto’s finest brands, Ujicha. The city is also a center for silk production and the birthplace of the global maker of innerwear, Gunze. Ayabe Station can be reached in just 70 minutes by limited express train from Kyoto Station. All trains to Amanohashidate and Kinosaki from Kyoto pass through Ayabe.

Ayabe Gunze Square

A selection of the best three sweets shops around Fukuchiyama & Ayabe

Let’s look at some of the top shops in the area that rival even the finest of Kyoto’s famous confectioners.

Adachi Otoemon Kyoto Main Store

Close to Fukuchiyama Castle, this shop uses chestnuts from around the world, including Tanba chestnuts, a specialty of the Tanba region that includes Fukuchiyama. The “Chestnut Dream Cream Puff,” available only at this store, is filled with a whole chestnut and rich chestnut cream. Lots of other goodies are also here like chestnut tarts, dorayaki, gelato, and more. Even a chestnut terrine priced at more than 10,000 yen!

Adachi Otoemon cream puff

Adachi Otoemon cream puff

Adachi Otoemon’s Chestnut Terrine “Ten”

Exterior of Adachi Otoemon Kyoto main store

Adachi Otoemon Kyoto main store


Built in the 1910’s and 20’s, the store design is a blend of Japanese and Western styles. Savoring a chestnut treat while gazing at the garden in this historical structure is sheer bliss. Choose your favorite mug from works of carefully selected ceramic artists.


Adachi Otoemon Cafe

Adachi Otoemon coffee cup

Adachi Otoemon Dorayaki

Adachi Otoemon Kyoto main store cafe exterior

Address 44-18, Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture
Access 15-minute walk from JR Fukuchiyama Station
Business hours 9:00-18:30
Regular holiday January


At this local-favorite sweets shop, the specialty is Nanikore!? (What is this!?) Puddings that are made with various ingredients to look like Japanese staple dishes such as pork cutlet, curry, ramen, and seafood rice bowls. All were original ideas of the owner, and now there are 12 kinds! Such exquisite creations for the reasonable price of just 650 yen (including tax) is also a nice surprise. I ordered a single katsudon (haha!), and enjoyed it in the cafe.

UN.DONPURI Donburi Pudding

UN.DONPURI Donburi Pudding



A cutlet bowl recreated with sponge cake and pie crust. The delicate flavor was a sharp contrast to the high impact appearance! The perfect balance of the pudding’s simple, light sweetness with all of the toppings make for a delightful dessert. Even though it was big, I gobbled it up in no time.


UN.DONPURI Katsudon Pudding

UN.DONPURI’s “Katsudon” and “Kaisendon” Puddings



Another favorite here is the Japanese-style “Mitsuhide Come on! Pudding” made with the Tanba region’s specialty black beans. The design is based on the bellflower, a symbol on the family crest of the famous samurai, Mitsuhide Akechi.


UN.DONPURI Mitsuhide Come on! Pudding


The shop is a little far from Fukuchiyama Station, so we recommend renting a bicycle at the Fukuchiyama Tourist Information Center attached to the station. It takes about 10 minutes by bicycle from there.


Fukuchiyama Tourist Information Center

Address 2363-1 Hori, Fukuchiyama City
Access 25-minute walk from JR Fukuchiyama Station
Business hours 11:00-19:00
Regular holiday Wednesday

Ayacha Café

About a 10-minute walk from JR Ayabe Station, this cafe is in Ayabe Gunze Square, which also has a rose garden and many other shops carrying special goods from the region. The cafe is run by a local tea farmer, and the menu has a variety of items only a true expert in agriculture could create. Among these, “gyokuro” really blew my mind. Cultivated in a way that restricts light, this precious tea leaf is considered to be of the highest quality even among Japanese teas. At this cafe, you can brew your own gyokuro while listening to the explanations from the staff. Matcha is served all over Japan, but few cafes offer the chance to taste such a high-grade tea as gyokuro.

Ayacha Café Gyokuro and Sweets Set

Ayacha Café Gyokuro Brewing Experience

To learn how to make delicious gyokuro, watch:


Ayacha Café Gyokuro Brewing Experience


Gyokuro has a brighter, clearer green color than usual green tea. Packed with umami and sweetness, the flavor was shockingly different from any other ordinary green tea. The lovely fragrance was also deeply soothing. I understood completely why this place was billed as a “cafe without coffee.” Only in such a space can the taste and aroma of tea be fully enjoyed. After we finished our tea, we tasted the tea leaves dipped in ponzu sauce. The sensation of the aroma filling our palate was exquisite! Apparently, this is a common treat of tea farmers at home.

A wealth of other treats made with Ayabe tea are here for you to choose, including parfaits, cakes, beverages, and more.


Ayacha Café Matcha Zenzai (sweet red bean soup)

Ayacha Café Matcha Parfait

Ayacha Café Interior

Gyokuro and sencha tea leaves are for sale as souvenirs, so take some with you to enjoy the deliciousness of top-class tea at home.

The fine flavors of Ayabe tea can be enjoyed at many other places around Ayabe and Fukuchiyama. Meanwhile, for those with a sweet tooth, Fukuchiyama has many shops stocked with irresistible pleasures including Mountain Cellar de Chocolat by the world champion chocolatier Naoki Mizuno, and the long beloved patisserie in business for over half a century, Katashima.

Address 1-2 Kamenashi Aonocho, Ayabe City
Access 10-minute walk from Ayabe Station
Business hours 10:00-17:00 (L.O. 16:30)
Regular holiday Tuesday
I am Ayumi from Chiba Prefecture. I love sweets. I majored in Japanese history in my university. I have visited many historic sites from the ancient days to the modern days on my trips. I have visited about 100 castles of various sizes. I am also obsessed with visiting “anime pilgrimage sites,” the locations featured in popular anime and manga.

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