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.
With sweets as delightful as these, little wonder that the mochi wins our hearts and stomachs!
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. It is said that sakura mochi was invented in Tokyo during the Edo period.
A pink, white, and green dango on a stick is called O-Hanami Dango. There are many stories about the colors of the dango. The pink and white are said to bring good luck, and green is known to ward off evil.
Also known as strawberry daifuku, this is a strawberry wrapped in chewy mochi skin. Because of its connection to the seasonal fruit, it is often eaten during springtime.
Nerikiri are Japanese sweets in different shapes that reflect the season. They’re made from white kidney bean paste (shiro-an) and soft mochi.
Manjyu dough is also made with rice but it is different from mochi. Sakura Manjyu is filled with sweet bean paste and 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!