KOBO, which means “studio” or “artist’s space” in Japanese, has been participating in the Cherry Blossom Festival for over 15 years. For this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival collaboration, a special selection has been put together to reflect various aspects of Japanese culture and design. One of two KOBO locations we especially want to highlight is our shop located in the space in what was once known as Higo Variety Store in Japantown.
Seattle’s Japantown a.k.a. Nihonmachi, was a focal point for Japanese immigrants and their American-born children who made Japantown their home before WWI. The historic significance of the Sixth and Main Street area marks the center of what was once a much larger neighborhood making up the thriving business district of Japantown. Several of the buildings that made up this vibrant and bustling business district still stand today. This community continues to maintain its Japanese cultural identity, that includes a new evolving arts community and a vibrant neighborhood of restaurants, unique shops, and gallery spaces. Please come and visit Japantown next time you are in the area!
Tokara Japanese Confectionery
Tokara is a Seattle-based confectionery that prepares only freshly made Japanese sweets known as wagashi. These traditional Kyoto-style confections are crafted to reflect the seasonal changes and the beauty of nature in color, shape, and taste. Handmade by Chef Tokara, a selection of wagashi echoing the current season of the year – be it spring, summer, fall, or winter – are offered monthly.
Wagashi arose from the Japanese tradition of borrowing and blending facets of other cultures. Asian and Western confectionery ingredients and methods were combined, and over the centuries have become extremely refined and uniquely Japanese. Chef Tokara prepares wagashi using the centuries-old Kyoto method and carefully selects only the best and freshest ingredients to ensure her confections are of the highest quality. Her dedication and meticulous attention to craft and technique produces sweets that are visually stunning and exquisitely flavorful. And for Chef Tokara, taste is most important. “It must be delicious!”