As the days get colder and winter is just around the corner, the sight of sweet potatoes drying can be seen everywhere on the island.
Dried sweet potato slices (called Kankoro) are then boiled and mixed with sugar, sesame, ginger and mochi (sticky rice cakes).
While other Goto Islands also make Kankoro Mochi, unlike Ojika, they don’t add sesame and ginger.
Besides sugar, all ingredients are locally madeーall top quality!
When making Kankoro Mochi, the family and neighbors gather the day before to begin the preparations. The making process can last as long as 24 hours in total.
The Kankoro Mochi are finally completed after long hours of hard work.
They are the definition of “food made with love”.
It’s hard work though, and every year islanders swear that next time they will make less.
They can never bring themselves to do so, however, because they know that many people are looking forward to Kankoro Mochi they make.
This is an example of Ojika’s culture, with kindness and hard work at its core.
In wintertime, Kankoro Mochi can be purchased at many stores on Ojika Island. They make for a great souvenir, so make sure you grab a couple on your way back home from the island!