The town’s fastest mochi pounders!
Look no farther if you like your meals to be exciting! At Nakatanidou, you can see some of the nation’s quickest rice pounders demonstrate the traditional technique of making mochi (sticky rice cake) at rapid speed.
This well-known mochi business specializes on yomogi mochi and is located in the heart of Nara City. Green rice cakes prepared with Japanese mugwort, stuffed with anko (a delicious red paste made from azuki beans) and sprinkled with kinako (roasted and sweetened soybean flour).
The audiences are drawn not just by the rice snack itself, but also by the method by which these delicious delicacies are manufactured.
Mitsuo Nakatani, the current owner, has been running the store for almost 25 years. He and his team employ the traditional mochitsuki pounding process to generate a stretchy, silky paste from glutinous sticky rice, which is then used to make the rice cake.
Before the real fun begins, the mixture is beaten with kine, or mallets. While one worker continues to pound the mallet at a faster speed, Nakatani dives in and mixes the paste by hand in between strokes. They never skip a beat because they preserve their rhythm with shouts, and Nakatani’s hands are never hurt!
They work at such a quick pace that they won the national mochitsuki championships in both 2005 and 2006.
It’s time to try the final dish once you’ve witnessed the mochi-pounding show. The mochi is still warm, wonderfully chewy, and amazingly soft when served. There’s no better way to get a taste of this classic Japanese delicacy than this!
What You Should Know
HOURS OF OPERATION AND DETAILS
From 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., Nakatanidou is open. You won’t have to bother about seating or bookings because the shop front opens immediately onto the street. One mochi costs 130 yen and must be paid in cash. You may also get them in larger boxes, and the price per mochi is somewhat lower if you buy a pack of 8 or more. There are no set timings for mochi pounding, but it happens every half hour or so, so you’re unlikely to have to wait long (especially if there’s a big line!).
29, 橋本町 Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8217, Japan