No Nara mochi list could be complete without a mention of Nakatanidou. This is the best known mochi store in Nara, and maybe Japan. People crowd around the shopfront to watch two men pound the glutinous rice into a smooth ball of mochi, a process called mochitsuki. It’s a bit terrifying to watch two grown men slam hammers into the mochi, one after the other in a mesmerizing, perfect rhythm, but that’s why this place earned its fame for having the fastest mochi pounders in Japan. Do not leave without getting one of their yomogi mochi filled with sweet bean paste and covered in soybean powder. The yomogi, or mugwort, gives the mochi a bright green color and a clean refreshing taste.