When we were in San Jose’s Japantown three years ago, we looked for the grocery store I used to go to when I lived in Downtown San Jose, near “J Town”, as an undergrad college senior. All I knew was that the store was along Jackson St. The reason for the grocery hunt was that I wanted daifuku. We found the store but there weren’t any daifuku left. It was then that I found out about Shuei-Do from one of the grocery clerks. He pointed out the shop’s direction, but it didn’t matter since they were closed for the day. He also said that Shuei-Do easily runs out of daifuku so I should make sure to go early in the day.
Fast forward to present time and we found ourselves in J Town, and again for daifuku. I remembered about the manju shop so I headed for the direction. When I saw a line forming, I double timed it to the shop to take my place in the queue.
I was not about to leave the Bay Area without my daifuku; therefore, The Hubby and I faithfully stood in line with the California sun bearing down on us. I couldn’t wait to get under the shade of the awning. Nay. I couldn’t wait to get inside the shop for the manju. Once inside, we learned that the long line was due to the lunch hour rush. Now I know that we should have had our lunch at Kumako first and got the manju at Shuei-Do next, then I wouldn’t have felt rushed while choosing my dumpling pastries. There were many to choose from!
Manju is a Japanese pastry made with rice flour and sometimes mixed with other types of flours. The pastry is shaped like a huge dumpling, normally comes in different colors to match the flavor, and depending on the type, it can be filled with sweetened bean paste filling.
Shuei-Do has a system in which the manju are put in a box, with 4 pieces for $6.00 being the smallest box and the 20-25 pieces priced at $30.00-$37.50 being the biggest box. A good note to point out is that Shuei-Do accepts cash only.
We got a mix of inaka and mochi, and we also got a 4-piece set of kuri manju and a monaka (not pictured) but not as a part of the set. We actually ended up going to Shuei-Do three times. Once before going to Kumako, then again after, and the third time just hours before leaving California for the Pacific Northwest. We arrived at the store a couple of minutes before closing time, but they were actually already closed, yet one of the lovely store ladies allowed me in and she hand-selected 6 pieces of freshly-made manju for me to purchase.
Next time we’re in the Bay Area, we will no doubt do Shuei-Do again. (
Bun Pun intended.)