Potato Candy

Yes, please, I think I’ll have another!

Before stopping at this shop in Sugamo, I’d only encountered sweet potatoes in their ordinary form – roasted over a charcoal fire and sold from carts pushed by old uncles singing “Yaaaa-ki-mo! Yaaaa-ki-mo!” I have to admit, I don’t actually like yakimo much, but every winter I’m seduced into buying them because of the sheer “I’d never encounter one of THESE geezers roaming my neighborhood in San Francisco!” charm.

I didn’t expect to ever look at a chunk of yam and think it was an acceptable alternative to a slab of chocolate, but these nuggets of toothsome goodness drowning in a sort of honey sauce made me totally understand why Japanese people snarf them down all winter long.

If you’d like to try these the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions & a map to Koshinzuka Street are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

In the wake of a deadly earthquake, fans erupt in a frenzy of mourning when it’s discovered that their favorite pop star is among the dead. But when Detective Kenji Nakamura is sent to investigate a death at a local shrine, he finds evidence that suggests the impossible: How could the head priest have been murdered by…read more