Ohanami is the Japanese word for cherry blossom viewing. There is a Japanese saying, “Hana yori mochi”, which means “Rice ball rather than flowers” – referring for the tendency for people’s practical preference for some edible delight rather than enjoying the beauty of the sakura above them. Here are 4 ohanami sweets for the spring celebrations!
With sweets as delightful as these, little wonder that the mochi wins our hearts and stomachs! Choose your favourite ohanami sweets to bring to your next flower view party in Japan.
Sakura mochi is a piece of mochi dyed pink, which is filled with sweet bean paste and then partially wrapped with a salted cherry leaf. You can choose to eat the leaf or not. Apparently, sakura mochi was invented in Tokyo during the Edo period. Today, people still love it as one of their favourite ohanami sweets.
A pink, white, and green dango on a stick is called O-Hanami Dango. There are many stories about the colors of the dango. Japanese people say the pink and white bring good luck, and green wards off evil. Usually you will find the sweet balls of dango in threes on a skewer. What does O-Hanami Dango taste like? People describe the flavour as sweet Japanese rice. What makes the desert really special is the soft, chewy texture.
Ichigo daifuku, or strawberry daifuku, is a strawberry inside chewy mochi skin. Because of its connection to the seasonal fruit, people who love sweets often eat it during springtime.
Nerikiri are Japanese sweets in different shapes that reflect the season. White kidney bean paste (shiro-an) and soft mochi make up these ohanami sweets.
Manjyu dough also uses rice, but it is different from mochi. Sakura Manjyu has sweet bean paste stuffed on the inside. Also, sometimes there is a cherry leaf on top.
And many more…
Of course there are many other sakura-themed sweets. Every spring confectionery manufacturers release limited-edition sakura version of food and drinks. So if you look around Japanese stores in springtime, you will see the famous pink flowers everywhere. Don’t forget to look up and enjoy the view though!