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It’s Really All About The Sticky Rice Balls

Yeah, yeah, I know – leaves glowing in autumnal splendor, fall evening clear and crisp, moon shining bright, pond like a mirror, and the photos are sure to wow the folks back home. But let’s go bottom line: it’s really all about the miso dango.

I’ve waited ALL YEAR for the Rikugi-en garden in Komagome to open up at night again for leaf-viewing, just so I can eat these gooey balls of delishitude on a stick. Skewered up and stuck in an old-fashioned rice-straw wreath, the freshly-pounded rice balls slowly melt into warm blobs of goodness, then are slathered in either miso or soy-based sauce. (I mention the latter only as a courtesy. Miso, all the way.)

Sorry, I just realized it’s slightly cruel to be describing these to you online, so here are some leaf pictures as slight compensation. Sadly, I can’t deliver them warm, with miso sauce.

A Japanese maple in full regalia
Colored lights shine up into the trees across the big pond.
My favorite bridge.

If you’d like to visit Rikugi-en Garden the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had. 

Read a novel set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more


Jonelle Patrick View All

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!

5 thoughts on “It’s Really All About The Sticky Rice Balls Leave a comment

    • Oh, wow! Thank you! ^^;; I’ll get right to work on nominating my 11 bloggers and answering your questions! The only pitfall is that whenever I go over to your blog, I end up still reading an hour later…

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