Monaka – Japanese Traditional Sweet

Monaka is one of Japanese traditional confectioneries.


Originally, it was baked sweets. It is made from kneaded glutinous rice with water, steamed, and baked. Some sugar is sprinkled at last.

In Edo era, people put azuki bean jam between 2 original-Monakas.

These days, Monaka means capsule sweets of something. Not only azuki beans jam Monaka, but also chestnut paste Monaka, ice cream Monaka.

Popular Monaka

Now, so many kinds of Monaka are sold. Monaka is popular in Japan. Too many Monakas, so I can’t introduce all, then I will show a few Monakas.

Sweet Monaka

Okiagari Monaka

This is box of 3 kinds of Okiagari Monaka. Azuki bean jam Monaka, white bean jam Monaka, and green tea Monaka.

The company uses carefully selected ingredients. Azuki is from Hokkaido prefecture. Usually, azuki jam is bitter because of the azuki bean and cover and hide it with sugar, but this product naturally removes the taste without sugar. Green tea is from Shizuoka prefecture. It is highly aromatic variety. White bean is also from Hokkaido prefecture, sweet but soft taste.

Plum Monaka

It is from Wakayama prefecture, famous for plum production area. A company creates Monaka with plum paste. The Monaka has sweet taste and acidity.

Ice Monaka

Taiyaki Ice

Japanese famous company, Imuraya’s product. It is like the Japanese traditional food, Taiyaki, but it contains ice cream.

Glico SUNAO Chocolate Monaka

This monaka contains ice cream and chocolate. Especially, this Monaka is really sophisticated. The confectionery company, Glico, uses soy milk and dietary fiber, doesn’t use sugar for health.

Cultural Monaka


In Ishikawa prefecture, Fukuume is eaten in New Year season. “Fuku” means happiness and “Ume” means plum, which is deeply related to Japanese culture.

Famous Fukuume companies are Murakami and Morihachi. Both of them are in Ishikawa prefecture, also in Tokyo.