Oldest sweet shop
Ichimonjiya Wasuke
Japan (Kita-ku)

The oldest sweet shop still in business is Ichimonjiya Wasuke (also known simply as Ichiwa), a traditional confectionery store and café located in Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan. Ichimonjiya Wasuke was founded around 1000 CE, and as of December 2020 it was still operated by Naomi Hasegawa, a 24th-generation descendant of the founding family.

The business was set up to sell refreshments and sweets to visitors to the Imamiya Shrine, a Shinto shrine founded in 994, where people pray for relief from epidemics and outbreaks of disease. Ichiwa's specialty is aburi mochi – mashed rice soaked in sweet miso sauce and roasted on skewers over a fire.

Companies like Ichimonjiya Wasuke and its next-door neighbour, Kazariya – another mochi cafe that was founded in 1656 – are known in Japan as "shinise". These are family-run enterprises that have been in operation for at least a century, with many able to trace their history far further than that. A 2008 global study of companies that were more than 200 years old found that more than half of them were in Japan.