Wagashi are Japanese sweets that come in all shapes, sizes, colour and texture! The most popular confectionaries is mochi-based where it is mainly made from glutinous rice flour. Because its part of the culture to eat mochi, locals like to use it when describing somthing chewy, elastic and wobbly
(ノ)ω(ヾ)ﾓﾁﾓﾁ o＜´ω｀＞oﾋﾞﾛﾛｰﾝ (((･ω･)))ﾌﾟﾙﾙｰﾝ
Most wagashi comes with anko (red bean paste) where there are two types: koshian (smooth) and tsubuan (chunky). Theres no right or wrong when picking which anko to eat your mochi with, but there are a few stores that only do koshian and vice versa.
Anko ain’t the only flavor, especially nowadays with many chefs thinking outside the box (check out Iroha, to find out more flavors). But for now I would like to introduce some of the popular wagashi that I recommend
Dango • だんご
One of the most beloved sweets in Japan, Dango <3
Famous for its round shape (*゜ω゜)o―●○◎- 3 or 4 pieces on a stick is the iconic image
The classic flavors enjoyed nationally are Mitarashi (sweet soy sauce), Anko (red bean) and Goma (Sesame)
(●´U｀)ﾉ ﾟ+｡:.ﾟダンゴ.:｡+ﾟ ヽ(´U｀○)
Sanshoku Dango (Three-color dumpling) 🍡 is mildly sweet and many buy for its aesthetic appeal. The colors represent sakura for spring, snow for winter and grass for summer.
Its also called hanami dango as locals like to eat it while viewing the beautiful sakura.
Sakura Mochi • 桜餅
Seasonal pink coloured wagashi! Available in spring (February ~ April). Its called sakura mochi to symbolise spring by wrapping the mochi with cherry blossom leaves.
The texture of the leaf gives it a rough and crunchy mouthfeel. The sakura leaf itself is salty which balances the sweetness of the anko (azuki beans) inside the mochi.
Ultimately it is up to you whether you want to eat with the leaf on or not. o(･ω･´o)
Just think of it as seaweed and rice eaten together….except its sweet! with red bean!!
Kusamochi • 草餅
Unique sweets to those new to wagashi, where the name translates to grass mochi. Its named this because it uses Japanese mugworts to make the mochi.
Mugworts are boiled, shredded and meshed into the mochi. The mild taste of grass, kinda makes me feel one with nature…(ﾟ-ﾟ;)ヾ(-_-;) ｵｲｵｲ…
Mamedaifuku • 豆大福
Similar to kusamochi but instead of mugworts its black beans.
What I like about this wagashi is the mouthfeel of the beans. The firmness of the beans and the softness of the mochi goes very well together.
If you prefer chunky over smooth texture, mamedaifuku is the perfect wagashi for you! Opt for the tsubuan to maximise that sensation (≧ω≦)ｂ
Dorayaki • どら焼き
Doreamon’s favorite snack, Dorayaki!
What is there not to like about this? Its pancake sandwich! The component is simply 2 pancakes with anko in the middle.
Its simple thats why everyone loves it. The difference between dorayaki skin and pancakes is the key component honey! The fluffy soft texture and the mild sweet aroma of the honey enriches the wagashi, creating one hella irresistible snack ウミュゥゥ!! o(≧～≦)o
To be honest, I sometimes just eat the dorayaki skin and leave behind the anko >_<
If you love dorayaki check out Usagiya
I highly recommend the 5 wagashi which are readily available everywhere you go in Japan (you can find all of the sweets at any local supermarket and convenient stores)
My favorite is kusamochi and if I could, I would eat one everyday! Mochi are so squishy that sometimes I can’t resist poking and pulling it!! I know, its terrible….shouldn’t play with food, but gosh! its soft as a baby’s bottom 😮