Sakura is the Japanese cherry blossom, which can come to bloom in early March all the way up to late April, starting from the south of Japan in Kyushu and moving all the way north to the Tohoku region. In Japan, there are around 600 species of sakura trees, the most common being the Somei Yoshino, or Yoshino Cherry tree!
Because it’s a cherry blossom, it actually tastes similar to the cherry fruit, but is much more subtle! It’s a combination of mildly floral, slightly bitter, and a touch earthy! Because it’s a subtle flavor, it can be mixed with many sweet foods and drinks. During the cherry blossom season, you can expect to see classic Japanese treats like sakura mochi (Japanese rice cake) and sakura manju (Japanese confection with red bean paste filling)!
In modern times, we see tons of our favorite brands mixing what we already love with this symbolic flavor of Japan, so let’s see all the awesome sakura fusions we’re excited for!
When I think about Lindt, I think of Christmas, but Lindt Japan has brought us their LINDOR Sakura & Cream flavor to say bye to winter and hello to spring! This Japan exclusive LINDOR has a white chocolate shell with strawberry powder and sakura flavored filling. You can snag a bag of 10 pieces for 993 yen, or $8.60 USD!
The popular Japanese snack brand has brought back their super popular Sakura Matcha flavor for spring 2022! This seasonal variation uses Uji matcha (Japan’s most famous green tea) chocolate that covers the cherry blossom flavored pretzel stick. It also comes in a pack of nine, which makes it perfect for sharing with friends when you do some hanami, or, cherry blossom viewing!
Belgian chocolatier, Godiva, gets in on the sakura fun, too, with their Sakura Saku (Blooming) Chocolixir drink! This limited time blended drink has a bright scent of sakura and white chocolate, sakura flavored jelly and sauce, and topped with whip cream and sakura petal-lookalike pink chocolate chips! A regular size will cost you 680 yen, and a large will be 780 yen.
I won’t lie, as much as these other items look great, nothing excites me more than yummy new donuts, especially from Mister Donut! MisDo (as it’s often called here in Japan), has FOUR new flavors to try in their Sakura Mochitto Do(nut) series, which are all variations of their sakura mochi donut.
First is the Sakura Mochitto Sakura Petal donut which has a sakura flavored glaze coated on the sakura flavored mochi donut dough! Their Sakura Mochitto Kinako donut is essentially the same, but has kinako (roasted soy flour) sprinkled on top!
They also have a Sakura Mochitto Sakura Bean Paste donut which has a sakura leaf-infused sakura bean glaze, and accented with the aroma and saltiness of sakura leaves. Lastly, their Sakura Mochitto Sakura Bean Paste and Whip Cream donut has sakura bean paste with sakura leaves and whipped cream sandwiched between the dough, covered with white chocolate, and finished with doughnut sugar!
These have all been available since March 1, 2022, and cost you 150 yen!
Every year, people across the country (and even the world) wait in anticipation for Starbucks Japan’s Sakura releases, and their lineup this year did not disappoint! From February 15, 2022, Starbucks released two drinks: the Sakura Strawberry Shiratama Frappuccino and the Sakura Saku Milk Latte!
On looks alone, these two drinks win design of the season, especially the Milk Latte! It has a design of cherry blossoms in bloom using chocolate sauce and shaved sakura strawberry flavored chocolate!
Starbucks Japan also released a third drink called the Sakura Cassis Strawberry Shiratama Frappuccino, which combines the sweet and tart flavors of cassis (black currant) sauce with sakura strawberry flavored sauce, topped with whip cream and sakura strawberry shaved chocolate!
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo also has a full sakura infused lineup that we’ll be trying this month!
American burger joint Shake Shack also releases their yearly sakura inspired item in their appropriately named Shak-ura Shake! This milkshake is made up of a fresh vanilla custard base (made in store every morning) mixed with milk and sakura puree. The cups themselves are also sakura themed with pink cherry blossoms floating across the cup (but only in the small size)!
This limited time drink is only available until early April, so if you’re looking for a refreshing sakura flavored milkshake to go with your burger, be sure to get it before it’s gone! It costs 616 yen for a small and 814 yen for a medium!
Okay, this is not actually sakura flavored beer, but every year, Asahi will change their standard silver can design and dawn a pink can design! Bring these seasonal cans when you’re out doing some hanami (flower viewing) at Ueno Park or Meguro River!
If you’re into Japanese culture, then you don’t want to miss Japan’s most iconic seasonal flavor: sakura! With all these fusions of sakura snacks, drinks, and other treats, make sure to try them before they’re all gone! What are some of your favorite sakura flavored items? Let us know below!
Lover of music, Marvel, gaming, and all things Cool! I'm here to dissect, digest, and disseminate culture, so come and enjoy the ride!
Curry rice is one of the most famous foods in Japan, carrying the essence of the nation, just like sushi, ramen, or yakisoba. Many foreign tourists come here specifically to taste the diverse and enticing curries!
For many people, tea is a gift bestowed by nature’s beauty and passion and the dedication of tea artisans. Let’s explore the rich Japanese tea culture by introducing five of the best varieties.
Prepare for a Halloween adventure as we dive into Japan’s world of Halloween food! It’s a celebration of fun, creativity, and embracing the spooky side of life!
Hold onto your taste buds because we’re about to dive headfirst into a world of traditional delights, such as anmitsu, that will leave you craving more!
Japanese festivals, or matsuri, are big parties full of events, music, and fantastic food! Some of these festival treats are so delicious that they excite everyone.
Hi-Chew is one of the well-liked bulk candies you may have enjoyed. You can come across them quickly at lively parties and festive events like Halloween, Children’s Day, or birthday parties. Have you ever wondered where it came from?