Hiyoko cakes – The Delicious Charm

Hiyoko cakes were first introduced in North Japan, in a place called Kyushu Island, located in Fukuoka. These cakes have a distinctive shape along with a mouth-watering taste. Therefore, it is not surprising to be informed that they are well known to be one of the top and most popular sweets in Japan. The history behind the invention of hiyoko cakes is fascinating as the inventor was known to be sleeping while these delightful cakes were being created.


During 1897, Yoshinodo opened with the intention of supplying sweets to miners allowing their sugar levels to increase. The energy boost meant their jobs done to a better ability. A few years later in 1912 the inventor’s son, Shigeru Ishizaka, was eager to create a cake that looked like a bird. This helps us understand the origin of the cakes called ‘hiyoko’. In the Japanese language, the term means ‘baby chick’.

Within a short matter of time, people were in love with these unique, great-tasting pastries in the shape of a chick. By the mid-1900s hiyoko cakes were a key icon of the Japanese culture. The invention of the hiyoku cakes was such a success that someone had even created a song about them. In addition, it transformed into the background music of RKB TV’s weather forecast. This must have been very flattering for both the inventor and Japanese culture. It is amazing how one invention can have such a great impact on the culture and leave great memories for those visiting Japan, as trying the hiyako cakes must have been a sweet experience.

Nevertheless, known as a quick energy boost for the miners, truthfully hiyako cakes are not as sweet as we imagine. Surprisingly, these lovely cakes made from yellow bean paste, representing egg yolk, are easily located in the whole of Japan. These are one of the most popular items which tourists and local people buy as souvenirs or gifts. It is also fascinating to know that a black market demanding limited- edition varieties of these cakes exists. An example of this is the cherry-flavor filling one which is pink, only sold in the cherry blossom season by Yoshinodo.