Visiting Japan isn’t just about anime, sushi and ramen. They are also popular for their delectable array of traditional and contemporary desserts. And here are 10 Japanese Sweet Treats To Try in Japan, all listed in alphabetical order.
A popular Japanese dessert commonly served during the summer season, Anmitsu consists of shiratama (mochi rice balls) and anko (red bean paste). Completing this mouthwatering dessert include assorted fruits like sliced pineapple and cherry, small cubes of agar jelly and matcha ice cream drizzled with black sugar syrup.
At first glance, chinsuko can be easily mistaken as shortbread cookies. They have a rich history dating back to the Ryukyu Dynasty era. Originally served as a royal dessert, chinsuko is usually made from wheat flour, sugar and lard. Today, you can find them in the Okinawa prefecture and they come in various flavours such as vanilla, chocolate, sea salt, brown sugar and sweet potato.
Made from glutinous rice flour, Daifuku is a mochi-like dessert with varied fillings available. This includes the likes of sweet red bean paste and shiroan (white bean paste). You can find different types of daifuku in Japan such as Ichigo Daifuku (red bean paste and strawberry), Daifuku Aisu (with ice cream) and Yomogi Daifuku (grassy and herbs-flavoured kusamochi).
Think of them like mochi except they are served on a bamboo skewer. They are round in shape and typically come in different colours such as white, green & pink, with some of them coated in sweet soy sauce while others covered in kinako powder (roasted soybeans flour) or red bean paste.
These bite-sized desserts are like chocolate truffles, with main ingredients consisting of Manchurian walnuts wrapped in bean paste and brown sugar cane coating on the outside. It has a distinctly bittersweet and robust taste, best complemented with a cup of hot green tea.
This Japanese version of shaved ice is an ideal treat during the hot summer period. Besides, it’s hard to resist an ice-cold dessert consisting of flavoured shaved ice with different kinds of toppings and syrup imaginable.
7) Kininaru Ringo
Think of it as a Japanese version of apple pie but in a dumpling-like shape. A popular Japanese sweet treat in the Aomori prefecture, a whole Fuji apple is used to soak in sweetened syrup before wrapping it in a flaky pie crust for baking. Kininaru Ringo is usually served warm, with a crunchy texture on the outside and sweet on the inside.
Otherwise known as momiji manju, this dough-like pastry can be commonly found in the Hiroshima prefecture. The word “momiji” actually means “autumn leaf” or “maple”. This explains the reason manju is shaped like a maple leaf. Manju comes in different kinds of sweet fillings, namely red bean paste, matcha, custard cream and chocolate.
Don’t worry, this is not a dessert actually made from fish meat. But rather a fish-shaped cake made from pancake or waffle batter before grilled in a fish-shaped griddle until golden-brown perfection. There are various fillings available, with the common ones being red bean paste on the inside.
10) Tokyo Banana
No, these are not naturally-grown fancy bananas. But more of a banana-shaped sponge/soft cake commonly filled with custard cream. They also come in other flavours such as banana yoghurt cream, coffee milk, maple, honey and chocolate banana cream. Some Tokyo Bananas even come with cute designs on the exterior, namely panda bear and animal prints. No doubt a souvenir-worthy sweet snack worth bringing back home for family, friends or colleagues.