Oiwake Dango Honpo (追分だんご本舗)

Oiwake Dango Honpo (追分だんご本舗)

As always, it has been ages since I’ve been disciplined and relaxed enough to sit down and write a post for the website. I’ve been working, studying, running, writing for the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Youth Partnership and just generally trying to stay afloat amidst my self-inflicted busyness. I always tell myself that I’ll give myself more downtime so that I can work on She Roams the World, but 3-4 years have flown by and I’ve barely written any solid/regular content. I will get there!

Today, I’m dropping in with a quick post for some stress relief and also to share about one of the many delicious things I tried while I was in Japan.

Let’s go back a few weeks when I found myself in Tokyo, Japan for the first time and to say I was excited would be an understatement. I’ve always dreamed of going to Japan to immerse myself in their food culture and also to volunteer on some of their organic farms to continue my WWOOFing adventures.

Oiwake Dango Honpo (追分だんご本舗)

After 2 days of gyudon, ramen and gyozas, I was ready for something sweet: Dango.

Throw in some quick research and I discovered Oiwake Dango Honpo (追分だんご本舗), a dango institution to say the least. They have been making dango since 1945 and offer all kinds of flavours including the classics red bean, savory options like seaweed/soy and more unique flavors like ginger, mugwort and yuzu.

Now, although they are both chewy and delicious… Dango and Mochi are slightly different. Mochi is made from pounded rice while Dango is made from rice flour (Mochiko). You often see dango on little sticks with a sauce poured over it or a sweet paste spread over, like matcha in the photo below.

How was it? The dango was good. The matcha paste was very generously spread and wasn’t too sweet. The dango itself was, well, chewy as it should be. I’m not a dango expert but I’d definitely eat this again… and again…. and again. We also tried the red bean dango which was just as satisfying.

Oiwake Dango Honpe has a dine-in area too, where you can order dango with green tea or other variations of dango desserts that come in bowls instead of on a small bamboo stick. I didn’t have time to try those but there were quite a few local Japanese people waiting in line, so I would think it’s worth a visit.

To avoid falling back into pointless food reviews, I have a new challenge for each post I write, whether it is about food, travel or community: To include a fun fact that makes the reader learn something beyond the fact that they want to eat the food, travel to that place or meet new people.

So here’s your dango fun fact: A common Japanese proverb “hana yori dango 花より団子“, which means “dango rather than flowers” refers to a preference for practical things rather than aesthetics. Wise words indeed.

If you’re still reading, let me end with an unsolicited (and slightly painful-to-read) haiku because life’s too short not to be a little bit eccentric:

Dango with anko
brings the simplest joy to life
Off to eat some now.

*Anko = sweet red bean paste

Address: 3 Chome-1-22 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan
Phone: +81 3-3351-0101

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