[Moving to Lukang] MISATO – Sweet Cakes of Love

Address: No.24, Lane 32, Wenkai Road, Lukang Township, Changhua County (First Store)
Tel. no.: 04-7776250
Business hours: 10:00~18:00 Tuesday to Sunday
Facebook page: 米弎豆Misato

“MISATO is my wife’s. I’m just a part-timer.” Chen Yu-Da gives a textbook answer. The shop titled MISATO sells koban cakes. While the technique of such grilled rice cakes originated in the wife’s hometown, this Taiwanese-Japanese love story has found its roots in Lukang. 

The couple met in Australia years ago and remained in a long-distance relationship. Although Chen had been to Japan for a while and Misato had come to stay in Taiwan for some time, they couldn’t find suitable jobs in each other’s countries. As they decided to tie the knot, they chose to start a business in Taiwan. 

Misato decided to bring a taste of her hometown by introducing “Umegae-mochi,” a specialty from Dazaifu, Fukuoka, and redefining it as “koban cakes” in a different shape. Simply put, they are grilled mochi cakes filled with red bean paste or other fillings. Nonetheless, the ingredients are not simple. The skin is made from Kyushu rice, imported and milled into powder in a local factory. The texture of Kyushu rice differs from the hard Japanese mochi and the soft, sticky Taiwanese mochi. When grilled, it becomes chewy yet crispy. The cakes are named “koban cakes” because their shape resembles the ancient Japanese koban gold coin, with fillings such as crispy red bean, matcha red bean, taro, and sesame. They also developed iced drinks and treats. These freshly grilled rice cakes are not only exquisite snacks popular among visitors strolling the old street but also serve as unique souvenirs. 

Since the cakes were originally sold on the Omotesando leading to the shrine, the couple wanted to sell koban cakes at a temple entrance in Taiwan as well. Eventually, they found a spot in the business district near Lukang Tianhou Temple. The nostalgic and cultural ambiance of the temple surroundings brings a sense of localness to the Japanese treat. 

The couple, who moved to Lukang to open the shop, quickly blended in with the locals as they got to know other shop owners in the business district. “Lukang has a strong sense of community, which is not as common in northern cities,” said Chen. Misato, who married from Japan to Taiwan, is becoming more proficient in Mandarin and can understand some Taiwanese. Though she often suffers from heatstroke due to the hot and humid weather, she has tried Gua Sha massage and finds it very relaxing as a local Taiwanese would. 

Given that their koban cakes are highly popular, the couple began planning to open more branches. The expansion was faster than expected, with a branch at the old street and Minquan Road intersection, followed by another in Taichung’s Calligraphy Greenway Plaza. Later, because an employee studying in Taipei wanted to work part-time on weekends, they set up a stall in Dadaocheng, providing job opportunities and promoting their products in northern Taiwan. 

This year, they opened Sancha Café in an old house near the Huo Xing Youth Start-up Hub, offering customers a space to have a seat, engage in interactaction, and experience the ambiance. As a new resident of Lukang, Chen sees this as both an opportunity and a challenge. He aspires to create a space for community co-creation and symbiosis, providing a stage for performances or inviting vendors to set up shops. Now that they have their own dedicated space, they welcome limitless possibilities.

This article is from the Lukang Chronicle II: Lukang Renaissance.

Lukang Chronicle II: Lukang Renaissance is a local magazine from Lukang, documenting the growth and transformation of the Kids from Lukang and their local business partners over the past six years. Stemming from the concept of environmentally friendly festivals, the initiative has crossed paths with many young people who have returned or moved to Lukang to live and start businesses. This collective effort has enriched contemporary life in Lukang. On the foundation of the town’s nostalgia and traditions, a lifestyle unique to the new generation has flourished



鹿港未來中心,地方青年創業輔導品牌, 會員、學員招募中!!


分享在 facebook
分享在 pinterest
分享在 email