Sweets of regions – Hoba-maki (2021-05-31)

Hoba-maki is a sweet of specialty in Kiso Region of Nagano Prefecture, which is made of rice flour and sweet red beans wrapped in hoba, and steamed.


Access: Tokyo (local train 0:14) Shinjuku (express train 2:30) Shiojiri (express train 0:27) Kiso-fukushima @


It’s only made in early summer between late May and middle July when hoba, the young leaves of honoki tree (Magnolia obovata), are available. The leaves have been traditionally used as wrapping material and dish because of its size, scent and disinfection.


Honoki (Magnolia obovata) and its leaves.


(Cited from https://www.uekipedia.jp/)


As natural twigs are used as they are, two or more hoba-mali are joined together when sold.



Let’s eat it! At first pick one off the twig and untie the knot.



Then unwrap it.


These kinds of leaf-wrapped foods are traditionally very common in Japan, one of which is this Hoba-maki.



Webmaster enjoyed hoba-maki with a cup of green tea. It was very nice refreshment.