A long time ago, in a hut on the mountainside an old woman invented the "kurikinton". Then the other sweets followed, like "manjû" or "dorayaki", throughout the seasons. At Mikuriya, the craftsmen still perpetuate this know-how, as all the pastries are still handmade.
The autumnal gift that is chestnut can only be cooked during the good season. Although many shops offer different chestnut specialties like "kurikinton", each shop has its own specificity. Even if the raw material is rather simple, the tastes and flavors vary according to each maker.
In the region, the chestnut is a basic aliment known from the childhood. Who, here, hasn’t gathered chestnuts in the forest or in the mountains? Each family used to have a chestnut tree in the yard. Back then, moms cooked "kurigohan" for lunch or dinner and some confectioneries for the kids.
It is not exactly a noble fruit, but it is the wealth of our forests. Between expert hands, chestnut becomes luxurious, lavish and tasty sweets, popular among the gourmets.
The Mt. Ena, in the Japanese Alps and the Kiso Mounts, is said to be one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan, according to Kyûya Fukada.
It is located at the limits of Nakatsugawa and Ena cities of Gifu Prefecture and Achi city of Nagano Prefecture. From its peak, it is possible to distinguish Mt. Fuji and Mt. Ontake, not so dormant volcanoes.
At his foot, there is the Nakasendô road, one of the 5 old imperial roads, that goes from East to West. The changing seasons offer beautiful and various landscapes: the "yamazakura" or cherry blossom of the mountains in Spring, the green paddy fields in Summer and the Autumnal momiji – when the leaves become red, purple, brown, orange and yellow. – that makes the mountains glow. Autumun is also the best season for our chestnut specialties.