In Sakai, Osaka, Kanbukuro is an old dessert shop established in 1329, which is only about 5 minutes walk from Nanshuji, the Buddhist temple famous for Sen-no-Rikyu, the best known tea master in Japanese history.
In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced the construction of the grande Osaka Castle on the site of the Ikkō-ikki temple of Ishiyama Hongan-ji. 10 years passed by with support and donations of local merchants, in the Spring of 1593, the Momoyama Goten, the main building of the castle was completed so Hideyoshi invited a local Sakai merchants to celebrate, among which there was this Izumiya Tokuzaemon, who made walnut rice cake with his family for over 250 years. The main tower was still under the process of putting tiles across the rooftop. Izumiya joined the workers on a hot day and used his strong arms of making rice cakes help move the tiles quickly. Hideyoshi was encouraged and said Izumiya's arm looked like a kanbu (huge bag) is scattering. Hideyoshi ordered "Let's name your shop as Kabukuro". Since then, Izumiya's family shop changed the trade name from Izumiya to Kabukuro.
Kanbukuro has only two dishes, the signature walnut cake, made of a small rice cake covered with sweet green bean paste (¥336) and only available during summer, a walnut cake covered with shaved ice (¥336). The walnut rice cake was savory using agricultural crops until later sugar was imported, the flavor gradually developed to the current taste. Shaved ice was added around Meiji era, when refrigeration technology became popular. The shop closes everyday when all items are sold out and there are limited amount for sure. Go quickly and it's worth waiting in a line.