The best sakura snacks in Japan
Sakura season has nearly passed in Japan. While we hope the scent still lingers fresh in your mind, if you missed the season (and when it only lasts a few days, who can blame you?) there may still be hope. A few late-blooming treats remain to fill that sakura-shaped whole in you heart—and in your stomach. While it is of course recommended to savor them picnicking underneath their namesake—rest assured—these delicacies can still be enjoyed in the privacy of your home, or under any other blossoming tree, for that matter. The goodies will leave you plump and satisfied, answering the age-old question, what does cherry blossom taste like? Catch these snacks before they too leave to bloom another year!
The sweetest of the sweet, and the quintessential sakura treat. These chewy rice cakes are available in grocery stores and FamilyMart convenience stores across Japan. They are best eaten with something salty, to help curb the sugar. As for the leaf, you can throw it out, but since you’re already eating a flower, what’s an extra leaf?
East meets West in this twist on American fast food. A light dusting of seasoned salt, sakura, and seaweed transforms regular french fries into the taste of spring. You’ll wonder how you will ever go back to normal fries again. Available at Mcdonald's across Japan.
Caution: Sakura-themed packing doesn’t count. Asahi “Special Package” beer tastes no more like cherry blossom than its normally-canned counterparts. Beware of this sakuraposter* and opt for Haru Saku Kaori spring beer instead. Available wherever beer is sold.
*sakura+imposter: Also look out for peach, plum, and strawberry flavors when shopping for sakura. Not all that’s pink is sakura.
Do you like Sakura but just wish it wasn’t so sweet? Spring curry with sakura shrimp could be the answer for you. A hint of sakura flavoring in the shrimp gives this curry dish a subtle taste of spring, without the sweetness. Available with scrambled eggs, fried fish, fresh tomato, and cuttlefish. Nab these concoctions at CoCo Ichibanya, while they last…. But you better curry! Errr make that hurry!