The Best Sakura Snacks in Japan

Sakura french fries and more

Ocdp (CC0 1.0)
By Alex Silverman    - 3 min read

Sakura season comes and goes each year in Japan, but for those who don't make the time to go hanami-ing, you may still find time to partake in the festivities.

A few blooming brilliant treats can 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!

Sakuramochi

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?

Sakura-mochi (Photo: Ocdp (CC0 1.0))
Sakura-mochi (Photo: Ocdp (CC0 1.0))

French Fries

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.

Beer

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.

Curry

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!

Is this list missing any sakura-flavored goodness? Which one is your favorite? Comment below!

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Alex Silverman

Alex Silverman @alex.silverman

In love with travel and storytelling, I want my life to follow these twin paths and their endless twists and turns. A Saitama-based writer, teacher, and photographer, I am addicted to kaiten sushi (personal best: 25 plates in 12 hours) and a budding kendama enthusiast. Thoroughly outmatched by the Japanese train system, I am always in need of new ways to occupy my time after boarding the wrong trains. Eager to promote Saitama as well as Japan as a whole, feel free to contact me with any ideas, questions, or suggestions! Cheers! よろしくお願いします !  ***This bio was written while taking the wrong JR train.***

Join the discussion

Laura Welch 4 years ago
I've not heard of sakura curry or french fries before, and I'm practically a sakura connnoiseur! I've had sakura ice-cream, castela, dorayaki, taiyaki, cookies, roll cake, parfait, anpan, and recently, yubeshi. Sakura tea should definitely be on the list, too. I've actually had the ice-cream out-of-season once, so don't despair if you don't come to Japan at the "right" time!
George Tan 4 years ago
So this is how Sakuramochi really looks like!
Relinda Puspita 4 years ago
Sakuramochi is my favorite.
Tamara Siemering 4 years ago
Lovely, brief article with mouth-watering pictures.
Justin Velgus 4 years ago
Sakura french fries...what?!