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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogThe Best Sakura Mochi and Hanami Munchies!

The Best Sakura Mochi and Hanami Munchies!

Karina IkedoKarina Ikedo
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March 14, 2023
Sakura shaped sweets, that look like pink flowers which have the same theme as sakura mochi. Purple background.

When hanami (flower viewing) season is in full swing, Japan goes wild for sakura (cherry blossoms)! This season also lets you enjoy many sakura-flavored foods, snacks, and drinks! One of the most popular spring snacks is sakura mochi, but there’s so much more to enjoy!

These pastel pink cherry blossom-flavored desserts and drinks are as insta-worthy as they are delicious! We have rounded up some of the best seasonal sakura treats to enjoy as the hanami season arrives.

Hanami Dango

Hanami dango dumplings are a tri-color sweet usually eaten during the cherry blossom viewing season. It is so iconic that it even has an emoji for it! Hanami dango’s three colors are pink, white, and green. It stands for cherry blossoms in spring, winter snow, and summer grass. 

A skewer of tri-color (pink, white and green) dango, also known as hanami dango.
Hanami dango represents the colors of spring! Image via Shutterstock

These sweet rice dumplings may initially seem simple, but the texture sets this Japanese treat apart! Hanami dango is fun to eat as it’s soft, chewy, and delicious! These go great with a cup of green tea because they have a mild flavor and are not too sweet. 

Sakura Mochi

Sakura mochi is the most well-known Japanese dessert associated with cherry blossom viewing. While mochi is available all year long, sakura mochi tends only to be sold in the spring and is popular at flower-viewing parties. The cherry blossom leaves and the anko( sweet red bean paste) take the springtime experience to a new level.

A plate of sakura mochi, which features pink rice with sakura leaf wrapped around it.
Sakura mochi is one of the most iconic cherry blossom snacks ever! Image via Shutterstock

Two different kinds of sakura mochi originate from Tokyo and Kyoto, respectively. The Kanto-style chomeiji is made by wrapping a pink crepe around anko, while the Kansai-style domyoji is created by soaking, steaming, and grinding the rice. They both come with a pickled cherry blossom leaf for a unique texture. Delicious!

Sakura Manju

Soft pink rice cakes with red bean paste inside.
Sakura manju uses red bean paste! Image via Shutterstock

This huge, soft, and delicious wagashi (Japanese sweet), eaten with matcha tea, uses azuki. Manju is created by wrapping the red bean paste in a flour dough and steaming it. They combine pickled and salted sakura blossoms into bean paste for the spring season. The final result is a treat with an intense but delicious flavor.

Sakura Anpan

If you love bread as much as we do, this one is for you! A spring-tastic twist on the regular sweet roll with bean paste, it’s like bread heaven. Ginza Kimuraya is one of the most well-known stores for sakura anpan.

Fluffy sakura anpan bread with cherry blossom flowers on top.
This version of anpan featured a sakura filling! Image via Shutterstock

A bread specialty known as Sakadane Anpan Sakura became famous all over Japan after being presented to Emperor Meiji. This treat’s heart is a sweet, delicious bean paste wrapped in fluffy bread and topped with a salted cherry blossom for a salty kick. Talk about a burst of flavor!

Sakura Ice Cream

A sakura ice cream bar. It's pink, with bits of sakura flowers on it.
You can still cool down some ice cream even in the spring time! Image via Shutterstock

Remember the ice cream! More often than not, parks with sakura festivals will have a stall to get soft-served sakura ice cream. It has a pretty, slightly pink appearance! Extracts from cherry blossom flowers and leaves are used to make cherry blossom soft-serve ice cream. Some parks even take that one step further, introducing a sakura ice cream puff.

Sakura Parfait

A bowl of sakura parfait, which can also feature sakura mochi.
Sakura mochi is similar to the traditional anmitsu. Image via Shutterstock

Parfaits are one of the most iconic Japanese desserts! These beautifully layered sweets, which are both colorful and delicious, are popular for a reason. Not only is this dessert a treat to our taste buds, but also to the eyes! Sakura parfaits are found in cafes, dessert shops, and even at the konbini (Japanese convenience stores) nationwide. 

Looking to enjoy delicious Japanese sakura treats? Check out TokyoTreat! TokyoTreat delivers limited-edition Japanese noodles, snacks, drinks, and sweets right to your door so you can enjoy the latest spring goodies directly from Japan!

Sakura Senbei

Are you craving a salty, crunchy, and sakura-flavored treat? Then you won’t regret trying this snack! This toasted rice cracker with salted sakura leaves or petals mixed into the dough is a delight.

A bowl of sakura senbei, which is made of shrimp and cherry blossoms.
Sakura senbei is similar to regular ebi senbei. Image via Shutterstock

Tasting it over an open flame makes this crispy sakura snack irresistible! It is a popular springtime snack or souvenir, usually enjoyed with green tea or sake. Many brands offer their versions of sakura senbei, which typically come in different shapes and sizes.

Cherry Blossom Milk Pudding

Jars of cherry blossom milk pudding, which features pink jelly and creamy white milk.
Cherry blossom milk pudding is a very elegant dessert! Image via Shutterstock

Enjoy this delicious milk pudding to celebrate the cherry blossom season! The top layer of cherry blossom jelly is sweet and somewhat salty, mixing wonderfully with the milk pudding base. The soft, silky pudding simply melts in your mouth. Having it with black tea is just perfect!

Sakura Kanten 

Sakura kanten jelly is a sweet, tasty, bright pink celebration of the cherry blossom season. This gelatin-like wagashi with sakura flavoring is fun to eat and yummy! 

A plate of sakura kanten, which is a molded jelly with cherry blossom flowers inside.
Sakura kanten is one of the prettiest hanami snacks for people to enjoy. Image via Shutterstock

Kanten is a translucent gelatin made from sea algae that are healthy and easy to make. The added highlight is the open and edible sakura blossom which sits beautifully preserved, soaking in the fantastic flavors around it. It’s a work of edible art!

Sakura Castella Cake

The sakura castella cake is the perfect traditional Japanese sweet with simple flavors that won’t break the bank. Castella cakes are well-liked yearly, but unique seasonal flavors are even better. 

A slide of pi9nk cherry blossoms castella.
Castella is a classic Japanese dessert. Image via Shutterstock

This fluffy and moist sakura cake has cherry blossom leaves, making it beautiful and delicious. Whether you’re looking for a unique dessert or a souvenir, this treat will be a hit! 

Sakura Tea

Is anything more pleasant than a delicious cup of sakura tea while pink petals fall outside? We can’t, that’s for sure! It always elicits some sort of emotion in people, such as inner peace, happiness, or beauty.

A cup of sakura tea, which pairs well with sakura mochi.
Sakura tea uses pickled cherry blossoms. Image via Shutterstock

Sakura changes after being preserved in salt and plum vinegar and then covered in sugar. It’s something special, a taste representing Japan, a floral flavor with the sugar’s sweetness and a slight saltiness. Just unforgettable!

Sakura Sake

Sake is, without a doubt, the most traditional liquor in Japan. Since sakura and sake are iconic symbols in Japan, it’s a true match made in hanami heaven! This sake is made with cherry yeast and is more mellow and sweet than conventional. 

A cup of sakura sake.
Sakura sake is very popular at hanami picnics. Image via Shutterstock

The pale pink bottle comes with a whole sakura flower inside, perfectly preserved in the peak of its bloom. It has a rich and fresh flavor will make you uniquely celebrate the sakura season!

Spring is arriving soon in Japan, with the highly anticipated cherry blossom season! Beyond admiring the pink blooms, there’s a way to enjoy the season’s unique flavor!

From traditional sakura-flavored treats to limited-edition drinks, there’s no shortage of unique and delicious cherry blossoms in Japanese snacks. Perfect for satisfying your cravings while experiencing the magic of springtime in Japan!

Have you tried any of the sakura snacks above? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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