Going to Japan, we were expecting sushi, noodles, pickles, miso and all sorts of weird and wonderful flavours, but we hadn't anticipated the variety of sweets and biscuits available. We found that Kyoto has its own sweets which you can't seem to find anywhere else.
Yatsuhashi is one of those. Particularly the unbaked variety, called "hijiri". They are made with rice flour and red bean paste. They are sweet, but not too sweet. We've tried the green tea variety, and also the plain, and a cherry blossom flavour too. And of course the divine "Otabe de Chocolat", which unfortunately was not available at the airport.
We didn't know what they were called until we got home, but it's amazing what a Google search for Kyoto sweets will bring up. And in the shops, a simple pointing and "kore kudasai" was as much Japanese as we needed!
We're currently eating the last few we have - green tea flavour (they only keep for a week), and I know I'll miss them until the next time we're in Kyoto. It's certainly a reason to go back!