7 Limited-Time Food To Try This Sakura Season
Seasonal food to try in Japan this spring
· 3 min read
Every year as we approach the cherry blossoms season, we start to see seasonal sakura-flavoured snacks appear on the shelves of supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan. Seasonal menu items will also start appearing on the menus of franchisees and popular chain stores. We have put together a list of limited edition seasonal items that have hit the shelves this spring, so that you can have an all-sensory sakura experience when you are in Japan this spring!
Starbucks Sakura Menu
It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that Starbucks is releasing a seasonal menu for spring. In fact, Starbucks’ Sakura menu is probably the most anticipated seasonal menu in Japan every year. This year’s menu has been released and is as pink as it possibly could get. The beverage menu includes a Sakura Sakusaku Frappuccino, made with a strawberry-flavoured ice blend with sakura jelly and crunchy macaron pieces, and a Sakura Soy Latte. If you want something that’s not overly pink, there’s also the option of a Sakura Saku Saku Matcha Frappuccino. Other sakura-inspired treats this season are the Sakura Donut, Sakura Chiffon Cake, and Sakura Ball Cookie. Sakura-themed merchandises are also available for sale across Starbucks outlets in Japan.
Mister Donut is the largest donut franchise chain in Japan, and is known best for their Pon de Ring donuts. A must-try when you are in Japan, their donuts have a soft, bouncy, mochi-like texture and are usually not too sweet. This year, their seasonal Sakura Mochi donut menu includes the Tsubomi, Gobuzaki (half bloom), Mankai (full bloom), and Hazakura. The Tsubomi is a simple donut dough with cherry blossom flavour, glaze, and sugar; the Gobuzaki has sakura cream and is half-coated with strawberry chocolate; the Mankai is fully coated with pink glaze, chocolate, and chocolate flakes; and the Hazakura combines the sakura mochi-flavoured dough and Ugui-styled bean paste to create a Japanese taste.
Calbee Kappa Ebisen Sakura Shrimp
Calbee’s Kappa Ebisen is a long-selling Japanese snack that has gained popularity in many regions world wide. These chips contain entire tiny and flavorful shrimps blended with potato, and are highly addictive. This spring, a Sakura Shrimp flavour will be launched all over Japan. Slightly different from the rest of the seasonal items on the list, this item is not ‘sakura-flavoured’. Rather, as its name suggests, sakura shrimps would be used to make these chips. It is expected to be available in stores from 13 March 2023 until some time in early July.
Tully’s Coffee is a popular coffee chain in Japan. This year, the chain has collaborated with the Tom and Jerry franchise for an adorable sakura menu. The menu features drinks and food that are infused with a blend of cherry blossom and strawberry flavours. Some of the menu items include a Cherry Blossom Strawberry White Chocolate Latte, Cherry Blossom Strawberry Royal Milk Tea, Sakura & Strawberry Donuts, and a Sakura & Strawberry Mousse Cake. Each order of the collaboration drink will be served in a limited edition cup that has Tom and Jerry printed on it. Collectible merchandise are also available as part of the collaboration.
Pocky Sakura Matcha
Pocky is a sweet snack produced by Glico, and Japan has always been known for its innovative and large variety of Pocky flavours. Their Sakura Matcha flavour is one of the most popular seasonal releases, and for good reason. The biscuits coated in a blend of the sweet and subtle cherry blossom flavour and bittersweet matcha chocolate results in a soft and distinct taste that is popular with many.
Cream Collon Adult Sakura Matcha
Cream Collon is another sweet snack that is produced by Glico. Collons are bite-sized waffle biscuits filled with various flavours of cream. They have recently launched the Adult Sakura Matcha flavour, where the fragrant cherry blossom creams are wrapped in the bittersweet matcha waffle biscuit.
Suntory Horoyi Sakura Rose
Horoyoi is a popular, canned chu-hi beverage produced by Suntory. It has a low alcohol content of 3%, with a line up of unique flavours, making it a great choice for a casual drink. They regularly launch limited-edition seasonal flavours, and it’s no exception this spring. To welcome spring this year, Horoyi is launching the Sakura Rosé, which has a mix of cherries and wine for a lingering aftertaste.
When in Japan, be sure to spend some time walking through the aisles of the supermarkets and convenience stores, and you’ll be sure to find more Sakura-flavoured products that you can stock up on for a picnic under the beautiful cherry blossom trees. Do check out our guide for some of the best spots in Japan for cherry blossom viewing!