Dorayaki どら焼 is a traditional sweet available only 21st, 22nd and 23rd of each month, created by Sasaya Iori 笹屋伊織, a shinise confectionery store established in 1716. They have a beautiful website with some pages in English. Here is their description of the seasonal sweet dorayaki.
The Japanese confection dorayaki is named for its similar shape to a gong in temples. “Dora” means a gong in a temple in Japanese. However, unlike the conventional dorayaki, Sasayaiori’s Dorayaki is named after its unique way of making it. Our buns were originally made on a heated gong.
At the end of Edo period, Sasaya Ibee, the fifth president of Sasayaiori, received a request from a monk, who was his old acquaintance of Touji Temple. The monk asked Ibee to make a snack in the temple. Ibee came up with an idea of using a gong in the temple, instead of a hot plate, to cook the snacks. He made a thin bun on the heated gong, rolled in some bean jam in the bun and wrapped it with a bamboo leaf. It became a hit overnight. Not only the monks at Touji Temple came to buy it but also people on the streets came because of its excellent taste. The demand grew and soon Ibee could not keep up with the orders. Because the Dorayaki needs a lot of labor and time to make, he was at a total loss. After giving it a thought, Ibee began to limit the sales to a certain day of the month. He started selling Dorayaki only on 21st, the monthly anniversary of the death of Koubo daishi, who was the founder of Buddhist Shingon school. Many people came to Touji Temple on the day and they took home the Dorayaki as souvenirs.
For 130 years, with carefully selected ingredients and an unchanged recipe, the tradition has been kept. Times have changed, but the genuine taste never will. At present Dorayaki is available on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of each month. It is Sasayaiori’s utmost pleasure to bring you the flavor of ancient days of Kyoto through our art of confectionery, Dorayaki.
Open daily 9am – 5pm (closed Tuesdays)