These Pastry Shops in Japan Serve Unique Sakura-Flavored Treats
Each one has a creative take on the season.
Last February 20, Hotel Mielparque Nagoya held a sampling event called Gifuppo Ohanami Sweets wherein eight famous Japanese confectionery shops from the Gifu Prefecture showcased their original spring-inspired sweets for the event. The theme was "to enjoy Gifu Prefecture through Japanese traditional sweets." In this article, we share with you the shops that presented and are worth checking out.
Six colorful ohagi (a rice ball usually covered with sweet red beans, soybean flour, or sesame seeds) are packed together in the cute Princess Sakura (¥1,200) from Wagashidokoro Ryokusuian.
Using locally produced ingredients such as yuzu (citron) from Kaminoho and TSUKIOKA FILM's edible gold foil, these aesthetically unique ohagi with distinct flavors are offered in a traditional lunch box made of wooden materials. The one with the big strawberry on top makes use of naturally ripe strawberries picked with care and matcha sweet bean paste blended with Gifu's local tea product. This makes for a perfect combination of pure sweetness without the heavy aftertaste.
Princess Sakura is available until the beginning of May 2019.
Wagashidokoro Ryokusuian is located at 5 Soharaseiuncho, Kakamigahara City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You may contact them at +58-383-5886.
Kinchouen - Ogaki Station Main Branch
Fuwafuwa (Sakuramochi) sold at ¥240 from Kinchouen ©GIFUMATiC
You might think that the Fuwafuwa (Sakuramochi) is going to be too sweet, but that'll change as soon as you take a bite. Contrary to the way it looks, this treat has a sweet and salty flavor. The whipped cream and the sticky rice cake are wrapped in a small round pancake that has been steamed and baked to achieve perfect fluffiness and chewiness. Sakura liquor is also added for scent, making you feel like you're experiencing fully bloomed cherry blossoms upon eating.
Fuwafuwa (Sakuramochi) is available until the beginning of April 2019.
Kinchouen - Ogaki Station Main Branch is located at 1-17 Takayacho, Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. You may contact them at +81-120-058-436.
Okashidokoro - Yoshinoya Main Branch
Hanami Mochidora (¥170) from Okashidokoro ©GIFUMATiC
This dorayaki is designed with cherry blossoms for a cute appearance, but it is actually laced with Japanese sake of Nihon Izumi Shuzo and sakekasu, leftover bits from the sake-making process. The combination of cherry blossoms and alcohol perfectly mirrors the hanami tradition of drinking alcohol while surrounded by cherry blossom trees. The mochi inside is so soft that it can be eaten easily.
Hanami Mochidora is available until the end of April 2019.
Okashidokoro - Yoshinoya Main Branch is located at 1019-1 Miyamae, Soinakajima, Motosu City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. You may contact them at +81-581-34-2034.
Midori Mochi-mebae- (¥140) from Okashidokoro Ogawaya ©GIFUMATiC
This yomogi mochi (a kind of mochi mixed with mugwort and is considered to be a seasonal dish for spring) is made with Takayama rice and coated with Tokachi red beans, which has been carefully cooked as ogura red bean paste, and yokan (sweet bean jelly). The yomogi mochi inside has a chewy texture making it very satisfying. A pink cherry blossom flower is decorated on the top to convey that "spring is surely to come."
Midori Mochi-mebae- is available until the end of April 2019.
Okashidokoro Ogawaya is located at 2115-2-2 Tawaramachi, Mino City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. You may contact them at +81-575-33-0029.
Wagashidokoro - Tohoen
Moeizuru (¥250) from Wagashidokoro ©GIFUMATiC
With the light pink coloring surface of this kintsuba, it conveys the message that even if it's a little late, spring will come to Hida City. Kintsuba is a sweet bean paste coated with a thin layer of batter, which is a bit similar to the Filipino pastry hopia but less oily. Rare white azuki beans and cherry blossom leaves are used in making the paste. For those who are waiting for spring to come, it gives a refined sweet taste.
Moeizuru is available until the end of April 2019.
Wagashidokoro - Tohoen is located at 2 Asahimachi, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. You may contact them at +81-577-32-1008.
Kasho Owariya Masatsune
Nannocho Sentsuji Shidare Zakura (¥162) from Kasho Owariya Masatsune ©GIFUMATiC
This dorayaki was inspired by the weeping cherry blossom trees in Sentsuji, which are also loved by the locals. Slowly simmered coarse red bean paste and sweet and salty sakura cream flavored with cherry blossom leaves result in an excellent combination. These sakura-flavored dorayaki are individually packaged in lovely floral-designed wrappers, making them perfect giveaways to friends and family in spring.
Nannocho Sentsuji Shidare Zakura is available until end of April 2019.
Kasho Owariya Masatsune is located at 636-1 Komano, Nannocho, Kaizu City, Gifu Prefecture. They're open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. You may contact them at +81-584-55-0050.
Sakuramochi-yui- (¥210 per 2 pieces) from Mochisou ©GIFUMATiC
Two bite-sized sakuramochi are served on top of a cherry blossom leaf like a couple on a boat. The idea behind this romantic image is that the act of cherry blossom viewing pulled this couple closer towards each other. Bean paste fillings with sakura and matcha flavors are stuffed in mochi made from Hida City's rice. Maybe if you try this sakuramochi, a wonderful love affair will come around.
Sakuramochi-yui- is available until the beginning of May 2019.
Mochisou is located at 1-61 Kuruwamachi, Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. You may contact them at +81-584-78-3226.
Wagashidokoro - Sekishi Toraya
Nihontou Ice Cream ~Sakura~ (¥1,000) from Wagashidokoro Sekishi Toraya
From the dream of a local senior high schooler to make a new speciality, this Nihontou ice cream came to existence. The ice cream is named such because it is shaped like the traditional Japanese sword. Another surprising thing about this new product is that it doesn't melt! The secret is that they use powdered arrowroot in making this cool dessert. Leaves of cherry blossoms are also added so that when you take a bite, the aroma of spring gently spreads.
Nihontou Ice Cream ~Sakura~ is available until the end of April 2019.
Wagashidokoro - Sekishi Toraya is located at 7-25 Honmachi, Seki City, Gifu Prefecture and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. You may contact them at +81-575-22-0302.
All eight products had "spring" as the common theme, but it is surprising how each store had their own unique interpretation of incorporating the image. The deep meanings and careful processes of how the products were made are also fascinating to hear.
All of the entries are available in their respective shops for a limited period of time. When going for a hanami in Gifu, don't just think celebrate it by drinking and eating and looking at the cherry blossoms. This year, try these "sakura-themed sweets" as well!
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokai Walker™ (21 February 2019)