Benkyodo’s Strawberry Mochi has Arrived – San Francisco

With the exception of this torrential storm, Spring time has arrived in the Bay Area. Cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and the annual Cherry Blossom Festival is right around the corner. In addition, one of my favorite sweets has come back to attack (the waistline). From now until Summer, Strawberry mochi is being prepared and offered daily at Benkyodo.

When many Americans hear the word “mochi”, they immediately identify it with the boxed ice cream dessert which has a ball of cold, dense mochi wrapped ice cream. Although I do ocassionally indulge in this frozen treat, even having consumed the green tea version the other day, when I think of mochi, I have visions of ultra soft, freshly pounded, steamed mochi rice like I used to gleefully enjoy as a child in Japan and here in San Francisco.

Fortunately for all of us, we all don’t have to jump on a plane to Tokyo to get the fresh stuff. We have Benkyodo. This Nihonmachi staple was one of the original shops to open in San Francisco’s Japantown back in 1906 and it’s still here over 100 years later. Thank God.

Just be warned: there is a cult following for this confectionary, and it does run out, so get there early, or go during the weekdays to get your fix. One Strawberry Mochi will cost you $1.25. Although, many are satisfied with one or two, I usually get 4 to eat throughout the day. Oink.


Benkyodo is the place for fresh mochi and manju desserts in San Francisco. They make everything daily and have been in business in Japantown since 1906. Their fresh, seasonal strawberry is my favorite but you have to make sure to either go early or call and reserve them to make sure you don’t miss out.


1747 Buchanan Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 922-1244

Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm & Saturday 8:00 am- 4:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Monday




  1. Albert
    13/04/2012 / 11:56 am

    Omygod this looks so good!

  2. b. e.
    13/04/2012 / 12:45 pm

    Thanks for turning me on to this food from heaven.

  3. sanfranfoodlover
    13/04/2012 / 2:14 pm

    That is some major food p*rn! Holy Moly.

  4. 01/05/2012 / 5:09 pm

    The strawberry is my favorite, but please note that I just found out yesterday, that Benkyodo is for now bringing back blueberry M-W, then making strawberry from Thursdays on. Not sure why, since the Strawberry is so popular and in demand, but at least they have them on those days.

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