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Autumn Leaves 2016

Top 5 Spring Food and Drinks in Japan

Photo: Guillaume Brialon on Flickr

Top 5 Spring Food and Drinks in Japan

John Asano

Japan is famous for its seasonal food and drinks with spring one of the best times of the year to sample these delicious treats. In Japan, spring is seen as a time of hope and new beginnings and carries with it the promise of warmer weather, beautiful colours and “hanami” or cherry blossom viewing. The most popular spring flavour in Japan has to be “sakura” or cherry blossom flavour which is symbolic of the season, and the king of spring in Japan.

The following food and drinks are my favourite spring treats in Japan. I hope you will enjoy them too.

5. Sakura Pepsi

Photo: Japan Australia on Flickr
Arriving on March 8 and only available in Japan is Sakura Pepsi. Japan has had it far share of unique and unusual Pepsi flavours over the years ranging from White Pepsi in winter, Ghost Pepsi for Halloween and Salty Watermelon in summer. This new limited edition Pepsi is sakura or cherry blossom flavour. It has a beautiful pale pink colour and a sweet sakura flavour and aroma, along with a slight sour note which is perfect for spring and the cherry blossom season in Japan.

4. Strawberry Daifuku

Photo : Janine on Flickr
Strawberry Daifuku or Ichigo Daifuku as it is called in Japan is a traditional Japanese sweet that looks as good as it tastes. It is soft mochi (glutinous rice cake) with anko (sweet red bean paste) and a whole strawberry as filling. The texture is amazing and the flavour a match made in heaven with the soft mochi outside and the sweet anko and tart strawberry inside. This delicious treat is sold everywhere in Japan from convenience stores to supermarkets, and is usually only eaten during the spring.

3. Sakura Cream Donut

Photo : http://krispykreme.jp/
The Sakura Cream Donut from Krispy Kreme Japan is one of my all-time favourite spring treats. Although it is not a traditional Japanese sweet it is modelled after sakura mochi and is filled with a sweet and slightly salty sakura (cherry blossom) cream. The donut is topped with pink icing and white chocolate and is accented with light pink chocolate flakes reminiscent of beautiful cherry blossom petals.

2. Sakura Blossom & Strawberry Latte

Photo : http://www.starbucks.co.jp/
The Sakura Blossom & Strawberry Latte from Starbucks Japan is the taste of spring for many people in Japan. Only available for a limited time from mid-February to mid-March, this tasty drink contains cherry blossom petals, salt-preserved sakura tree leaves, strawberry whipped cream, strawberry sauce and is topped with a generous dusting of pink strawberry-flavoured chocolate shavings. It is also available in a chilled frappuccino version, which is more like a dessert than a drink. My favourite has always been the latte version, which is not as sweet as the frappuccino and has a nice light and refreshing salty aftertaste.

1. Sakura Mochi

Photo : Wikipedia

Sakura Mochi or Cherry Blossom Rice Cake is my number one spring time food or drink in Japan. This traditional Japanese sweet is a pink rice cake made with gluttonous rice flour and water. Sakura Mochi is filled with a sweet red bean filling and is wrapped in a sweet pickled cherry blossom leaf. This is the perfect food to enjoy with Japanese green tea during a “hanami” cherry blossom viewing party under the beautiful cherry blossoms in spring.