It’s true that Japan didn’t have much of a sweet tooth until the end of the Sakoku period, but that’s not to say it did without sugar entirely. The Morihachi family, for example, can trace their roots back through the centuries to the time of the Maeda Clan, throughout all of which they have been confectioners. The incumbent president is a kind of 18th generation Willy Wonka. You can have a look at the wooden moulds used to make the hard sugary sweets in a museum just above their shop, and after you’ve learned a bit of the history, have a go at making your own, too.