shingen 1

Readers of our site may be well aware that we’re very much fond of tasty sweets, and luckily for us, desserts come in all shapes and sizes. But we honestly have to say the beautiful cake in the picture above is like nothing we’ve ever seen before! This unique piece of cake is actually so fleeting that it will literally cease to exist in its intended form within 30 minutes of being presented, so this is clearly a case where you won’t want to leave the best for last. But what exactly is this cake that looks like a transparent version of Dragon Quest’s slime?

shingen 3Source: Kinseiken website

This, ladies and gentlemen, is apparently a new species of the Japanese rice-cake confection shingen mochi. A regular shingen mochi is a Japanese-style dessert made from gyuhi, a particularly soft form of mochi rice cake, sprinkled with abundant kinako soybean powder and eaten with brown sugar syrup poured over it.

Interestingly, although shingen mochi is a relatively well-known snack in Japan, it’s actually a trademark registered product, and strictly speaking, only the variety made by the Kinseiken Seika Company based in Yamanashi Prefecture in Central Honshu can be called shingen mochi. According to one theory, shingen mochi is said to have its roots in the sugared mochi cakes that the famous Japanese medieval warlord Shingen Takeda preferred as a wartime ration, giving the mochi its name. There’s also a theory which attributes the cake’s origin to abekawa mochi, a similar type of rice cake which is traditionally eaten in Yamanashi during the summer obon festival.

▼This is what a standard shingen mochi looks like. The mochi has a sticky yet soft, jello-like consistency that’s hard to compare to anything else, and the brown sugar syrup has a thick sweetness like molasses.

shingen standardSource: Kinseiken website

▼By comparison, you can see that the special version of the shingen mochi, also made by Kinseiken, has quite a different appearance, almost like it’s made of crystal.

shingen 4Source: Kinseiken website

Well, this special cake is actually made of water from a renowned water source in the Southern Japanese Alps, and they’ve solidified the water just enough to give it a shape, which is why it’s called the “water shingen mochi” (mizu shingen mochi). According to the Kinseiken website, the mizu shingen mochi is so soft that it feels like it might break with just a gentle poke, and it melts away like water in your mouth. The water cake is, in fact, so delicate that once taken out of its container and presented at room temperature, it will lose its shape in about 30 minutes, which is why you can only have them in the shop and not to take home.

The mizu shingen mochi actually first came out as a seasonal sweet last summer, and apparently they were popular enough to make a comeback this year. Indeed, there are numerous tweets raving about how awesome the cakes are!

▼This tweet by Mika Miura, an announcer at the local Yamanashi Broadcasting System TV Station, says, “This mizu shingen mochi from Kinseiken in Hokuto City is transparent and delightfully soft! The jelly is made from underflow water from Mount Kaikoma and has a pleasant natural sweetness. Add the rich kinako powder and brown sugar syrup and it goes incredibly smoothly down your throat. The taste really is amazing!”

shingen tweet 1 SourceTwitter@berry_summer (Mika Miura)

▼Here’s another tweet, this one by one Ikuo yamamoto: “Tried the seasonal (summer) mizu shingen mochi from Kinseiken. Refreshingly cool! And tasty! Enjoyed it very much, thank you. They’ll be introducing it on one of the radio programs this afternoon. It looks like crystal, doesn’t it?”

shingen tweet 2Source: Twitter@yamaiku (Ikuo Yamamoto)

▼And this is what Twitter user @rarapanpusu had to say: “Had some mizu shingen mochi and then went to an outlet mall today. The sensation of eating the water cake was a bit surprising, since it felt like the cake turned into water in your mouth, but it was delicious. Highly recommended!”

shingen tweet 3Source: Twitter@rarapanpusu       

▼ Twitter user @bonabona999 also tweeted about the cake, saying “Here’s the mizu shingen mochi from Kinseiken. Water-based jelly seems to be popular now, and with the kinako and brown sugar syrup, it really is quite tasty. I thought the powdery texture of the kinako might stand out too much, but that wasn’t the case at all.”

shingen tweet 4Source: Twitter@bonabona999      

Now, that certainly makes us want to try these unique cakes, but again, they’re only available to eat at the two Kinseiken stores, both in Yamanashi Prefecture, so it looks like we won’t have the chance to have them anytime soon. Anyone with plans to be in Yamanashi, however, can try the water cakes at the store locations below. But do take note that the mizu shingen mochi are available only on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from June until the end of September. We’d love to hear how they taste and feel, if any of you out there have the chance to sample one!

【Kinseiken shop details】

Kinseiken Daigahara shop:
Address: 2211 Daigahara, Hakushucho, Hokutoshi, Yamanashi 408-0312
Tel: +81-551-35-2246
Open: 9a.m. to 6p.m.
Closed: Thursdays

Kinseiken Nirasaki shop:
Address: 154 Kotagawa, Nakadamachi, Nirasakishi, Yamanashi 407-0262
Tel: +81-551-25-3990
Open: 9a.m. to 6p.m.
No scheduled holidays

▼Now, tell us you don’t see the likeness …

shingen slimeSource: Naver Matome

Source: Kinseikei website, J Town Net , Wikipedia (shingen mochi) (all in Japanese)
Top Image: Kinseiken website