This page lays out our history from our establishment to today.
Our founder, Tsuruya Ihei, opened his wagashi store in 1803 in the Kamigyo Ward of Kyoto, surrounded by textile (kimono) producers of the Nishijin area.
No visual records remain of how the store looked like at the time, but a wooden plaque (photo) dating back to 1854 with our founder's name is still intact.
This wooden plaque was a permit to use sugar (still an expensive commodity back then) and to produce confections for tea ceremonies called jyōgashi.
Sugar permit 1954
In 1868 our third generation owner, Inada Ihei, created our first hit product called yūmochi. Like other culinary inventions of history, yūmochi was born by accident.
Inada Ihei was preparing a batch for another sweets called yū mizore which uses jelly and yuzu citrus. He miscalculated the ingredients and the end result was not up to par.
Yūmochi in 1933
Instead of letting the batch go to waste, he added mochi flour into the batch, steamed them, cut them into bite-size pieces, and then sprinkle them with fine sugar.
Originally he only shared this with friends and families, but word got around and it grew so popular that he decided to sell it as a product, and that's how our longest selling product was born.
Storefront circa 1912 - 1926
Then in 1920 our fourth generation owner, Inada Gizaburō, started making what would become our second longest selling product Kyōkanze.
Originally it was called Naruto Kata after the famous whirlpools off Naruto Strait. He decided to change the name to Kyōkanze after a famous well near the store called Kanzesui.
Legend has it, during a rainstorm, a dragon jumped into the well, and the surface of the water in the well continues to ripple ever since then. The same well would be the inspiration to kimono patterns and a school of Noh theatre.
Naruto Kata (Kyōkanze) 1958
Tokyo Store 1975
In 1975 our second store in Tokyo opened in a riverside building in Nihombashi. This store, Tokyo Mise, would later move into the COREDO shopping complex near Mitsukoshimae Station and is still open to this day.
Most recently, our seventh generation owner, Inada Shintarō, opened a new concept store under the IRODORI brand inside Kyoto Station in 2015, focusing on modern and colorful interpretation of wagashi targeting younger customer. In 2020 we also opened another store inside the office complex of Toranomon Hills targeting office workers.