Ryokan Gojyuan - Wagashi Class

08:07 Melissa Gabriele 0 Comments


This weekend I decided to take a very special cooking class. Can you guess what it is? I took a wagashi class! Wagashi literally means Japanese traditional sweets.  It is originated from Kyoto and is popular among both tourist and Japanese. Even though I couldn't find any wagashi store in Sydney, I found a place that teach me how to make one!

Sakura Wagashi
This place is called Ryokan Gojyuan. This beautiful traditional Japanese inn is located in Balmain, Sydney. It has a very authentic Japanese interior with wooden walls and tatami. The owner of this inn fell in love with the Japanese culture due to her love of Samurai. She frequently visits Japan and brings home many traditional Japanese kitchen tools, furnitures and food!

Ryokan Gojyuan
Just look at the interior! It looks absolutely stunning! I really love their traditional bathtub. This one is made of high quality wood from Japan. It looks very similar to a Japanese bathhouse!

Bathtub
Their garden is truly a secret garden as it lies deep within the inn. The bamboos, moss and many other plants compliments one another. The moss is actually given from a bonsai master as it is hard to find one in Sydney. While most of other plants are actually local plants! Nevertheless, I feel like I'm in Japan instead of Sydney. Honestly, I could imagine myself living here! The place is very warm and cosy.

Garden

Now, moving on to the fun part! Making wagashi! At first I thought making one is very hard. It turns out that it was pretty simple! The hardest part is finding the tools and ingredients! They have very rare ingredients that couldn't be found in Sydney. The owner actually brought them from Japan last week! She brought Japanese pumpkin and Sakura leaves powder. Apparently Sakura powder is a seasonal ingredients as it is only sold during spring time in Japan.

Wagashi tools are also very expensive and most are only sold in Japan. As wagashi are mostly very small, they require very tiny utensils made especially for wagashi confectioners. Even though making one is simple, making wagashi in large quantities are very time consuming. Most Japanese don't make them at home anymore. This is probably why the utensils are very expensive.
Making Wagashi
One of the surprising lesson I learned today is the art of food coloring. Japanese has a creative soul as they invented an all natural coloring for their traditional sweets. The yellow paste is made from pumpkin and the softer yellow is made from egg yolk. The pink one is made from Sakura and the green one is made from green tea powder!

Pumpkin Ann, Sakura Ann

Green Tea Ann
I also fell in love with Japanese way of creating shapes! They are very creative and for them, eating is not only using our mouth, but also our eyes. Wagashi is the art of the five senses; sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Each complimenting one another, creating an unforgettable experience. Wagashi changes its design and taste each season. Welcoming the changing of the season.  


Wagashi creations
After the class ended, we were given the privilege to take as many pictures as possible on every corner of the inn! From the tatami to the secret garden, anything is possible! Of course I took this opportunity to unleash my inner food blogger's soul! As much as I enjoy making them, I also enjoyed taking pictures of them.

Wagashi creations
Overall the class was very fun and memorable. I learned so much in so little time! After the class and the photo session ended, everyone chatted over tea while enjoying our wagashi. It was a very lovely ending to a wonderful session!

The Class
Me
I truly recommend anyone who's interested in taking this class. They also have other classes such as the tea ceremony, calligraphy, ikebana and many more! You can check their website www.ryokangojyuan.com and book a class beforehand!

Wagashi Class Ended
Thank you for reading and there is also a short Youtube video that I made! You can check them out! Thank you so much and have a wonderful and productive day ahead!!!

Arigatou gozaimasu!



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