On 1 June, I talked about the word 水無月(みなづき)but today I’m talking about the confectionery in Kyoto called 水無月.


Traditionally Japan has many days during the year when we are set to eat certain food items, such as 雑煮 (ぞうに, rice cake soup) on New Year’s Day, 巻き寿司 (まきずし, sushi rolls) on 節分(せつぶん、the last day of winter)etc., but it seems Kyoto has more days like this than any other part of Japan. Eating 水無月 on 30 June is not that common anywhere else in Japan, either.


水無月 is a triangular shaped sweet rice jelly topped with cooked red beans and Kyoto people (must) eat it on June 30 to wish for a peaceful life for the rest of the year. The rice jelly is said to represent “ice” to beat the summer heat and it is believed that the red colour of the beans has the power to chase evil away. Usually the rice jelly is white but it can be brown with brown sugar or green with maccha (powdered green tea).

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