Agemanju - Sweet Deep-fried Cakes in Asakusa
One of the best sweets to try at Senso-ji's Nakamise street
There are many good reasons for a visit to Asakusa: Senso-ji temple’s gates and pagoda, tiny Hanayashiki amusement park, Japanese kabuki theaters, old restaurants, and shops selling kimonos and festival clothing. And then there is the area around the temple’s Nakamise street where you can buy souvenirs. Many of these souvenirs are food items. You can try some on the spot and buy small and big boxes to take home or use as gifts. One of the best sweets to try at Senso-ji’s Nakamise street is Agemanju.
Manju are small round steamed cakes with a sweet filling. Agemanju take it one step further. They are steamed manju cakes coated in a tempura batter and deep-fried. These small cakes are so good fresh from the shop - hot and sweet. Just be careful not to burn your fingers and your tongue.
Regular agemanju have a sweet red bean filling (anko). Variations of this are sesame (sesame seeds in the batter and sesame mixed in the filling), macha (green batter and macha flavoured filling), and ume plum (pink batter). Other fillings include sweet potato and kabocha pumpkin. Depending on the shop and season there might be many more varieties on offer. They usually cost only 100-150 Yen.
Nakamise starts at the big red Kaminarimon gate of Senso-ji temple and leads up to the temple’s Main Hall. Several shops selling Agemanju. Other typical sweets you can find here are Kaminari-okoshi and Ningyo-yaki.