Hawaii September 16, 2016
Most People Have No Idea Hawaii’s Best Candy Shop Is Hiding Inside An Unassuming Warehouse
While the Hawaiian Islands are certainly home to some big names in candy – Big Island Candies, Hawaiian Host and Honolulu Chocolate Company, just to name a few – there is a little-known candy shop that blows all these brands out of the water. Located off Dillingham Boulevard near Honolulu Community College is Nisshodo Candy Store, an intimate, hole-in-the-wall shop that has been specializing in Japanese candy for more than 90 years – and has even received attention from the Food Network as the best candy shop in Hawaii.
It definitely doesn't look like much from the outside, but mouthwatering treats await you within.
While Nisshodo makes a variety of candies in-house, they are famous for their Chichi Dango - traditional candy made from sweet rice flour - as well as mochi and manju, rice flour pastries filled with sweet bean flavors.
Forget chocolate and lollipops - Nisshodo also specializes in kinako dango, kingyoku, and rakagan, all fantastic Japanese sweets you have to try at least once in your life.
While the treats sold here are healthier alternatives to traditional candy, they will still surely satisfy your sweet tooth.
Nisshodo’s recipes were perfected in Hiroshima, Japan more than 90 years ago by Asataro Hirao before he moved to Honolulu and opened up shop. The store has stayed in the family, and the same, original recipes are still used today by his descendants.
When the store first opened on King Street, Hirao specialized in ame candy and hard candies until World War II - when sugar became more scarce. He then switched to mochi, which was made with less sugar, according to HonoluluAdvertiser.com.
While you can purchase Nisshodo’s delectable treats individually, they are also sold by the pound - making Nisshodo the perfect stop for omiyage gifts, or for family holidays and get-togethers.
Nisshodo’s is open six days a week, each of which is spent preparing their magnificent candies. The mochi is created on a handmade assembly line, and only half of the product is sold from the store. The other half is sold wholesale to various stores, including Marukai, Shirokiya, Don Quijote, and Longs.
When you walk into the small retail outlet in the larger warehouse, don’t be alarmed by the remote camera watching as you study the cases to pick out the perfect candy - an employee will be with you shortly. Don’t be scared off by the frequent lines, either.
Enjoy the traditional sweets of Japan without leaving America at this charming little shop that is often difficult to find, but totally worth the effort. (Pro tip: the warehouse shop is located off Dillingham in building I-5.)
Need more to satisfy your sweet tooth? Check out these 9 amazing chocolate shops in Hawaii.