For those not aware, seasons are a big deal in Japan. There are still some things you can find year round, but seasonal goods are really special in Japan, and you can’t usually get them in other places. One of the biggest examples of this, in my opinion, is sakura mochi. Sakura is term for cherry blossoms and mochi is the term for rice that has been beaten until it is a sticky, stretchy, mass. Separately they’re good; together they’re amazing!
The previously mentioned sakura mochi can be found in the top of this plate. On the one to the right, you ca see that the mochi has some remnants of the rice’s original form, which I find more intriguing.This sakura mochi also has a sakura blossom tucked under the leaf. It also has a sakura leaf on the outside, which has be soaked in salt water. The leaf adds to the flavor by creating a complexity between salty and sweet. Inside you’ll find an which is read bean paste. One time I got one from a convenience store that had whipped cream in it too; that one was trying too hard and I didn’t enjoy it…
On the bottom left you see a sort of pancake sandwich called dorayaki. Between these two pancakes is the previously mentioned an. The one pictured is special because it has a peach flavored an, which was delicious. I also managed to bring some into the states that were sakura flavored; these are a nice break from the traditional dorayaki you can find all over.
In the lower right you see what appears to be a clear liquid; this is a sakura jelly. It has a light, crisp, sweet flavor which is all topped off by the addition of a sakura blossom for your consumption. The sakura blossom is spread out beautifully and makes it a beautiful way to welcome spring, but so does everything pictured (if we’re being honest).
There are more seasonal snacks, but these are just a few that really make spring feel like more than, “Hey… Is that the sun?!”