On the last night that the fall leaves were illuminated at Rikugi-en, we stumbled across the mitarashi dango stand. In a little hut beneath the maple trees, this man and his wife were dishing up skewers of rice cakes, roasted over charcoal and slathered with miso sauce. Sometimes mitarashi dango – the traditional balls made of rice that’s been pounded into a gooey paste – are too sticky or too rubbery or too tough, but these were delectably chewy, not to mention comfortingly warm on a chilly evening. If I didn’t know that a crock of rice as big as my head had been reduced to these bite-sized balls, I’d have been tempted to eat several more. Here’s what mine looked like, moments before its demise :
Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!