Friday, April 15, 2011

Fugetsu-Do Japanese Sweet Shop

Fugetsu-Do is a Japanese sweet shop in LA's Little Tokyo that has been family owned and operated since 1903.

I've eaten Fugetsu-Do mochigashi--the traditional Japanese sweets made from mochi--my whole life.

I wrote about the store when my friends and I made Peanut Butter & Jam Mochi.

I think the mochigashi from Fugetsu-Do is worth taking a closer look at, so I'm going to show you some of the different kinds of manju.

Manju is another name for these Japanese sweets.

I think all Japanese Americans call one piece of manju "The Pink One", at least all Japanese Americans that I know.

This is my Pink One.

I've always thought this one is the prettiest.

It's got a sweet white bean paste on the inside.

When I hold it in my hand just before I take my first bite, I am aware of how soft and smooth the manju is, and take a second or two to savor the anticipation of that first bite.


I kid you not.

The piece in the center is baked, different from the others--they're made of soft mochi.

The baked ones are a little drier, perfect with a cup of ocha--tea.

This is what it looks like on the inside, filled with sweet azuki bean paste.

Here's a few more, the yellow one on the left is really soft.

You can order the mochigashi from Fugetsu-Do online here.

When I was a little girl, and we'd open a box of mochigashi from Fugetsu-Do, it was such a difficult decision--which one to pick?

Especially when your brothers and cousins are scrambling for manju too, and might pick the one you want.

You understand, don't you?



These are my cousins and me at Bachan's (my grandmother's) house in the 60's.

That's me in the back row on the left with the headband.

My cousin Brian is in the front row on the right.

Brian also loves dogs.

The Kitos always had smart family dogs. 

I don't know who trained them, but they were always really smart and could do a lot of fun tricks.

I remember when my brother Warren, Brian, and maybe my other cousin Tim, stayed overnight with Bachan when they were a few years older than Brian is in this picture.

They waited until Bachan went to bed and snuck into the kitchen where the phone was and called girls.

Until Bachan came in and caught them.

It makes me laugh to this day!

Brian took over Fugetsu-Do from his dad, Roy Kito, and is now the third generation proprietor of Fugetsu-Do.

Here's a video of Brian showing the process of making the multi-colored manju by hand.

And another making manju with sweet beans on the inside.

Brian is very active in the Little Tokyo community and beyond, with a generous, giving spirit.

But my fondest memories are of when we were little, running around Bachan's driveway, playing Last Tag after a fun family day together.

315 East First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 625-8595

No printable recipe.


  1. I'll have to visit Fugetsu-Do. Like the videos.

  2. mmm you can't beat some fresh manju with a cup of hot green tea. i might have to make a trip to fugetsu-do one of these days ;)

  3. You are related to the Fugetsu-do family? Awesomeness. My mom worked at Fugetsu-do in the 1960's, and I worked at Sakura-ya in high school! Two generations of mochi sellers we say. :) I stop at Fugetsu-do every time I'm in Little Tokyo. - mary the food librarian

  4. Oh my gosh this post made me totally homesick for Los Angeles :) Thank you :)

  5. The pictures are amazing and really captures the beauty of the manju. Thanks so much for posting this blog entry.