Cherry Blossom season is soon arriving in Japan! It’s a time when both locals and tourists gather under the sakura trees to drink and eat together with loved ones while viewing the beautiful flowers. Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Hanami Guide for tips on how to do it like a pro!
Here are some sakura snacks that you can bring along to your hanami picnic or party this year to fully immerse yourself in the celebrations.
1. Hanami Dango
You might have seen hanami dangos in many Japan-themed photos or illustrations. They are made up of three sticky and chewy balls with different colours and taste.
The pink dango is cherry flavoured and represents the sakura in spring, the white dango is vanilla flavoured and represents the snow during winter. The green dango is green tea flavoured and symbolises the grass that grows during the summertime.
Hanami dango is known as a dessert but it isn’t extremely sweet.
2. Sakura Mochi
One of the most famous hanami snacks during springtime in Japan is sakura mochi. It is made of pink rice cake, and is usually sweeter than the regular daifuku mochi. Sakura mochi is often served with a pickled sakura leaf wrapped around it, which balances out the flavour.
3. Sakura Soft Serve Ice Cream
Shops usually release seasonal flavours during this period. Brands like Haagen Daz and McDonald’s have been known to sell sakura flavoured ice creams too.
4. Sakura Onigiri
These may seem similar to the sakura mochi, but they’re actually savoury instead of sweet. Sakura onigiris have pickled cherry blossoms mixed in and are made with water that has been steeped with cherry blossoms! They also come with a pickled sakura leaf wrapped on the outside.
5. Sakura Tea & Latte
The flavour of cherry blossom teas and lattes would surprise you. They are quite salty as pickled cherry blossoms are used to make them. People sometimes add sakura leaves to give a subtle floral aftertaste!
6. Tokyo Banana
Tokyo is famous for its Tokyo Banana. Don’t know what it is? The original Tokyo Banana is a fluffy sponge cake filled with banana cream. These days, they have many different flavours, including seasonal ones!
This sakura season, Tokyo Banana will be releasing a sakura flavour edition that comes with pink petals on the cake filled with banana cream with a slight hint of the sakura flavour.
This limited edition flavour will be sold from 26 December 2019 to April 2020.
7. Starbucks Japan Sakura Drinks
Every year, Starbucks in Japan releases limited edition sakura themed drinks. 2020’s drinks include the Sakura Milk Pudding (cold) and Sakura Milk Latte.
If you’re into collecting cute Coca-Cola bottles, you have to have this! This year, Coca Cola is releasing a limited edition sakura designed glass bottle.
They are available at supermarkets, convenience stores, and grocery stores across Japan from mid January.
9. Shake Shack Japan
Yes, there’s Shake Shack in Japan too! They have over 10 branches in Japan, including those in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. Shake Shack offers two seasonal shakes at their stores – Cherry & Sakura and Sakura.
They come in limited edition cherry blossom cups and are available from 20 January to 31 March 2020.
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