rss

Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

traditional japanese sweets 1 Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Wagashi – Traditional Japanese Sweets

Traditional Japanese sweets, called “wagashi” in Japanese, are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious to eat. Often created in the shape of leaves, flowers, and other articles of nature, wagashi represents Japan’s four distinct changing seasons and appeal to all five of the human senses. Wagashi are commonly served as the Japanese tea ceremony sweets.

red gradient divider Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Japanese Tea Sweets

Wagashi is traditionally served as part of a Japanese tea ceremony to offset the somewhat bitter taste of the tea.

traditional japanese sweets top Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Wagashi Ingredients

Most wagashi consist of a combination of some or all of the following ingredients:

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksAnko – Azuki beans cooked into a paste called “An,” which is used as a sweetener.

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksKanten – a fiber-rich gelatin used in jellied Wagashi sweets.

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksWasambonto – A special type of Japanese sugar

red gradient divider Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Popular Types of Wagashi

traditional japanese sweets 2 Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksManju -Steamed sweet buns filled with anko sweet bean paste

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksYokan – A jellied sweet made of anko, kanten and sugar. A popular gift item.

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksDango – Skewered balls of mochi topped with anko, kinako, or even chocolate

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksMonaka – An artfully designed rice wafer filled with anko

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksAnitsu – Jellied cubes filled with fruit

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksTaiyaki – A pancake like dough fried in the shape of a fish and filled with anko

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksYatsuhashi – Thin sheets of sweet mochi shaped in triangles and filled with anko

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksNamagashi – Sweets formed in the shape of flowers

bullet4 Traditional Japanese Sweets and SnacksAnpan – A sweet bread filled with anko

red gradient divider Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Traditional Japanese Snacks

Senbei – Japanese Rice Crackers

senbei Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Senbei (or o-senbei) are traditional Japanese rice crackers. Senbei come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes. Senbei are sometimes rolled or topped with a sheet of nori seaweed and seasoned with soy sauce.

red gradient divider Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Wagashi and Senbei Gifts

Gift giving is an important part of Japanese culture, and wagashi is one of the most common items given as gifts. If you are a guest of some local Japanese while in Japan, you can’t go wrong giving them a gift of wagashi or senbei.

wagashi gift Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Where to Buy Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

There are still many shops throughout Tokyo and other parts of Japan that make and sell wagashi, and these are fun to visit and shop in. Often you need look no further than your local major train station for a traditional Japanese sweets shop.

In Kyoto, one of our favorite places to browse and sample Japanese sweets is Yatsuhashi, located along the road leading to the Kiyomizudera temple. This shop lays out samples of every flavor in the store, and encourages visitors to sample them all!

yatsuhashi Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

In Ginza, visit Kimuraya Bakery (located near the Apple store), a bakery that has been selling anpan for over 100 years.

kimuraya anpan Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

The easiest place to find wagashi is at the depachika (bottom food floor) of any major Japanese department store. Most depachika offer a huge selection of artfully prepared and packaged Japanese sweets.

red gradient divider Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

For some, traditional Japanese sweets and snacks are an acquired taste, but while in Japan give them a try and let us know how you liked them!

red gradient divider Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

share save 171 16 Traditional Japanese Sweets and Snacks

Leave a Reply

*
= 5 + 1