If you have ever been to Japan you may be aware that Japan loves its seasonal items. If you haven’t been here before, one of the things you can look forward to on your trip is the seasonal items for whatever season you are visiting. Today I will share with you some of the seasonal Japanese snacks you will find in spring, particularly sakura (cherry blossom) items. If you visit Japan in spring, get ready to see a lot of pink!
Sakura Japanese Snacks at the Conbini
From around late February you may start to see more pink packages in the aisles at the conbini. Here are a few of the ones I tried this year!
Chocoball is a popular snack, from the company Morinaga, found in conbini and supermarkets. The original is peanuts with a crispy crust around them and a chocolate coating. They also have a chocolate coated caramel version as well as a strawberry version which has a chocolate with puff rice center coated in a strawberry flavored chocolate. The sakura version shown above is a special kind called Ōdama, which means ‘large ball’ and they are 2.5 times bigger than the original Chocoball. Like the original, the sakura flavored consist of a peanut surrounded by a crispy crust. They are coated in sakura flavored chocolate. If you have a chance, check them out!
These cakes which I found at a conbini were perfect with my afternoon coffee. With just a hint of cherry blossom flavor they aren’t too overpowering. If you happen to see some during your trip to Japan in the spring, please try them!
In the ice cream freezer I found this sakura mochi flavored ice cream. It is a sakura flavored ice cream topped with an Azuki (sweet red bean) sauce and five small mochi. You often see sakura paired with Azuki.
Sakura Selection at Mister Donut
Mister Donut is probably Japan’s most popular donut chain. They often do collaborations with popular characters like Pokemon and they also have great seasonal selections. During the spring months they have a variety of offerings centering around sakura.
Some of the donuts have anko a paste made of small red beans which is sweet and a staple in Japanese sweets. Some have kinako which is a powder made from roasted soybeans and also often seen in Japanese sweets. I have tried two of the donuts from this selection so far.
On a recent donut date with my five year old, I tried the Sakura Mochitto donut in sakura flavor. Mochitto means to be a bit chewy like the Japanese favorite mochi. They have several donuts on this seasonal menu. You can check it out here. The site is only in Japanese, but the pictures are good.
Sakura Japanese Snacks at the Mall
In many AEON Malls as well, as well as other malls depending on where you are, you can find a store called Kaldi. They sell freshly ground coffee and have a great selection of items imported from allover the world. I go there to buy things like tortillas and other things to make Mexican food at home. Recently I saw that they had quite a selection of sakura flavored snacks! My five year old picked out sakura flavored marshmallows from the selection. They are pink, shaped like sakura, and have a very faint hint of sakura taste. If you happen to see a Kaldi, stop by to see their selection of seasonal Japanese snacks!
Both of these snacks have a cherry blossom flavored component. The top which are, Milky chocolates, are a ‘sakura pink’ cream filling surrounded by chocolate. The bottom is a sort of cookie called Branchul. It is an airy, crispy langue de chat type cookie with a thin layer of sakura flavored chocolate in the middle. My daughter and I liked both of these!
One last sakura find
For those who like to drink beer and may not want sweets, but still want to enjoy the feeling of the spring season, I give you…
Asahi beer puts out a special pink beer can each spring to celebrate the beloved sakura season. So even if you would rather have a beer than a sakura flavored cake or ice cream, you can still enjoy the sakura season fun! Let us know in the comments what sakura treat you would like to try. Or, if you have been to Japan during the cherry blossom season, what seasonal treats did you see/try while you were here?