It’s almost time for the cherry blossoms to bloom, meaning we’re getting a lot of limited-edition Sakura-themed items for the early spring season. Many companies will make special seasonal drinks for major events in Japan, capitalizing on seasonal flavors like cherry and strawberry in the spring, and mango and banana in the summer. Not only are these absolutely delicious because of the availability of fresh cherries and strawberries, but many of them have adorable aesthetics because of the red, pink, and white color scheme– perfect for posting to your social media feed, too!
Here are some of the best Sakura themed snacks and drinks in Japan this spring:
Did you know that Muji, the popular lifestyle and furniture store, has a sweets section? Not only do they sell baked goods and sweets throughout the year, but they also got swept up in the storm of cherry blossom products. They’ve released a whole line of sakura products from traditional Japanese treats like mochi, to something with a much more of a sugary punch like Sakura marshmallows!
On our list, we’re most excited about the Sakura baumkuchen, which is a German stacked cake with several rings due to how it’s layered. Muji sells these as individual servings, so you can take one with you on the go as a quick snack.
If you want a whole dessert to yourself, you can get the Muji Sakura Roll Cake, which features a sakura sponge and a delicious cream filling. The package comes with four slices of the roll cake, so you can share it with friends when you go on a picnic for hanami.
Japan’s most popular donut shop has also gotten swept up in Sakura fever! Their “Blooming Sakura Donut” collection features three flavors associated with the Japanese spring season: Sakura, Kinako (roasted soybean) and Adzuki (red bean.) The three flavors work well together in their Sakura Donut Pops, which are little donut holes that come in assorted packs of 8, 16, and 24.
Their main donut line gets the seasonal specials of sakura, kinako, and adzuki paste inside sakura-mochi flavored donuts, which taste just as great as they look. You can get the chewy sakura-mochi dough with your favorite filling as well as a sakura glaze, kinako sugar, or white chocolate dip.
Have you heard of how Japanese Kit Kats have over 300 flavors? Kit Kats are considered a “good luck” gift, as “kitto katto,” sounds close to “Kitto Katsu!” which means ‘you are sure to win.’ During Spring, flavors like Otona no Amasa Dark Matcha, Otona no Amasa Strawberry, and classic Cherry Blossom become extremely popular. The first two types are targeted at adults, and those who prefer less sweet, stronger flavors. The Dark Matcha flavor has a little more bitter, tea-like flavor compared to the slightly sweet one you might be used to with regular matcha Kit Kats, while the Strawberry flavor has bits of tart strawberries inside to give a more fresh fruity flavor.
It wouldn’t be Sakura season though if we didn’t sneak a bit of the Sakura Kit Kats that come out every spring. These have that beautiful light pink look to them and a light cherry flavor that blends well with the biscuit portion of the chocolate bar. Those Kit Kats are available in this month's Sweets Box!
If you’ve never tried Tirol chocolates before, you’re missing out on a little bite of happiness. Tirol chocolates are adorable cube-shaped candies with varying flavors, and have enough different flavors to rival even Kit Kat sometimes! Tirol always releases around 10 new flavors each year, with some rarely becoming permanent selections. For the spring season, they have their Sakura Matcha chocolate cubes, which have a cherry blossom base with a matcha top.
These are very limited edition, and just like the cherry blossoms themselves, will likely be on the shelves for just a short while. They capture the taste of Japanese desserts very well, and are definitely something to look out for. Tirol chocolates are usually popular with kids because they tend to be small, but that doesn’t mean anyone older can’t enjoy them for a great pick me up sweet. Also available in our pack for a limited time only!
Many coffee addicts and Starbucks enthusiasts pay attention to Starbucks Japan’s seasonal offerings, particularly during the cherry blossom season. Only Starbucks Japan creates special drinks for sakura season, and not only are these delicious, but they are extremely aesthetically pleasing.
There are usually two limited edition drop dates to watch for, each introducing a limited edition drink and Japan-exclusive merchandise. You can get coffee mugs, water bottles, and even a notebook with cute designs all over.
Now for the drinks: this year, Starbucks unveiled the Sakura Strawberry Shiratama Frappuccino and the Sakura Blooming Milk Latte. The Frappuccino has shiratama mochi added in along with strawberry-flavored chocolate flakes on top, making for a very sweet drink with added texture. The latte, if you prefer hot drinks, has a sweet sakura strawberry sauce mixed in and a cute sakura tree pattern on top of the milk foam.
If you’re interested in any of these limited time Sakura treats, why not check out Zenpop’s Snack Box? Our March Sweets box contains both the Tirol Sakura Matcha chocolate and the Otona no Amasa Strawberry flavor Kit Kats, so you can get a taste of the cherry blossom season right from home.