Don’t miss the Manjyu festival and famous Japanese sweets shop中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou)!

Rin Shrine (林神社) enshrines Jōin RIN (林 浄因) who brought steamed bean-paste buns (Manjyu) from China, and it is located on the ground of Kongo Shrine (漢國神社) in Nara Prefecture. A Manjyu festival is held at Rin Shrine every year on April 19th, the anniversary of Jōin’s death. Japanese confectioners across the country visit the shrine on this day and devote their manjyu for prosperity for confectionery industries. This time I’ll introduce you to the festival and my favorite Japanese sweets shop around the Rin Shrine.

2019-02-19 yumoka   Festivals & Events, Nara,


Manjyu festival

Do you know Japanese sweets 饅頭(Manjyu)?
Manjyu was brought to Japan from China by Jōin RIN (林 浄因).

For details about history of Manjyu, go to the link below.
The only Manju shrine in Japan! Visit Rin Shrine in Nara to get to know the history of Manju.

A Manju festival is held at Rin Shrine every year on April 19th, the anniversary of Jōin’s death.
I went to the festival on April 19th 2017.



I arrived at Rin Shrine at 10:00am.
The shrine was bustling with a lot of people because of the festival.
Many Japanese sweets were arranged on the table.

Japanese sweets


A traditional ceremony started at 11AM.



We prayed for success and further development of the sweets industry.





Lastly, green tea and Manjyu were also provided to visitors.
At that time, I realized that, just like the olden days, Manju is still loved by many people.

中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou)

Please stop by the nice sweets shop 中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou)

When you take a walk around Nara-machi, please stop by the Japanese sweets shop: 中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou).

身代わり申(Migawari saru)

This is called 身代わり申(Migawari saru) and it is a charm to protect people. It accepts misfortune, disease and disasters instead of its owner.
The monkeys are the messengers of Koshin Deity. (庚申さん)
For details about 身代わり申(Migawari saru), go to the link below.
“Substitute monkey”, the amulet that’s hung in front of houses in Nara.

身代わり申(Migawari saru) sweets

These Japanese sweets represent a red and white stuffed monkey which is called a substitute monkey and you can buy it at 中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou)in Nara.

身代わり申(Migawari saru) sweets

Higashi (干菓子) is a generic term that refers to dry Japanese sweets.
They are made from Japanese traditional sugar 和三盆糖(Wasanboutou)and arrowroot 吉野葛(Yoshinokuzu).
For more information about 和三盆糖(Wasanboutou), go to the link below.
“Wasanbon” is traditional Japanese sugar!
You can try other sweets like Manju or Bracken-starch Mochi.


中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou)is a traditional Japanese sweets shop.
They make standard and seasonal sweets.
You can eat it there or buy it as souvenirs to take back home with you.
There is also an online shop. (Japanese text only)
中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou)Web site

Let’s join the Japanese sweets making workshop!

You can join the Japanese sweets making workshop at 中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou).
You will make 3 Japanese sweets and you can eat them with green tea at the shop or take them to go.
【A fixed total number】16 people
【time required】about 1 hour
【participation fee】2,160yen
To apply, please visit 中西与三郎(Nakanishi Yosaburou)Web site(Japanese text only)

For details about Nara Tourist Information, go to the links below.
Play with old world Japanese toys at the “Naramachi Mechanical Toy Museum”!

Japanese architecture makes rain gutters aesthetic!

This is the traditional Japanese technique for making rice-cakes!

Roof tiles that ward off evil called Shōki-san. Tips for finding Shōki-gawara in the Naramachi area!

Tasting sake at S. Imanishi Co., Ltd. Harushika brewery in Nara.

Tadaima Japan is looking to improve. Please rate this article!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

You might also like




Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.


Address 23 Wakido, Nara-city, Nara prefecture, 630-8337
Hours 9:00am〜6:00pm
Price -
Close irregular holidays
Access From Kintetsu Nara Station exit2 and about 10minutes on foot from the station.
Phone 0742-24-3048