Must-Try Japanese Delicacies this Spring

May 17, 2024

Spring on plate

Japan has turned from a winter wonderland into a spring paradise. With warmer days, colorful gardens, and fresh produce, there’s no better way to celebrate spring than to indulge in Japan’s spring delicacies. The new season brings new seasonal cuisine to enjoy, but they won’t be around for long.

Whether you’re enjoying snacks at a cherry blossom viewing party, cooking at home, or exploring restaurants, here’s a list of must-try traditional Japanese food to make your food trip unforgettable.

Sakura Mochi

The irresistible mochi is made of glutinous rice called mochigome, and a fluffy rice cake texture and sweet fillings inside. Available in various forms including matcha, strawberry, chocolate, or the limited edition sakura flavor. The sakura mochi gives a soft pink flush wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf with a refreshing salty taste. You can get this anywhere from your neighborhood supermarket. It’s the perfect snack to share with your family and friends for a hanami (cherry blossom viewing) or a matsuri.

Sakura mochi

Asari clams

Also known as the Japanese littleneck clams, these clams are a good source of nutrients such as protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3. Traditionally eaten during spring, it can be paired with miso soup, spring onions, or sometimes fried in butter. One of the best-paired foods with Japanese rice wine or sake. It’s fresh, sweet and affordable! You can definitely share this with your family and friends.

Asari clams

Plum blossoms

Plum blossoms are your sign that spring in Japan has begun as you’ll see various treats everywhere such as jams, syrups, dried plums, plum wine, and picked plums. It is believed that umeboshi or pickled plums can cure hangovers. You can make your ume by buying 1kg of plums, 500g to 1kg of sugar, and 1.8 to 2 litres of shochu or Japanese alcohol. Place it in a large airtight bottle, and leave it in around three to six months. You can also purchase in the nearby supermarket or online.

Plum blossoms

Takenoko (Bamboo shoots)

Takenoko has a delicate and earthy smell to boost appetite. It is boiled to ensure toxins are removed and prevent the development of a bitter flavour. It can be pre-boiled, peeled, or in a natural root form. Takenoko Gohan (bamboo rice) is one of the most popular dishes that can also be partnered with tempura.

Takenoko Bamboo shoots


This sweet and crunchy masterpiece is a traditional snack among the Japanese. Ohigashi is made of sugar and sticky rice cake flour rolled out to small veins drawn by hand to create a crispy and sweet treat you can savour for a time.


Tai (Sea Bream)

Tai or sea beam is a well-known dish with a significant role in Japanese culture. The name tai is derived from the word medetai, which means lucky. Ever since then, it has become a favourite dish for new students and employees to bring luck to their school year or employment. Sea beams are served in various versions like sushi, grilled, or whole fish.


Traditional Tea

Traditional Japanese delicacies this spring are not complete without tea. Indulge in the traditional tea culture by taking a sip of tea and learning the tea-making techniques and inside scoop. Matcha is a prominent tea in Japanese tea ceremonies. Many locals love pairing matcha with a delightful snack called wagashi, a traditional Japanese dessert.


Sakura Taiyaki

Inspired by the design of tai (sea beam), Sakura Taiyaki is a seasonal fish-shaped cake filled with red bean paste with versions of custard, chocolate, and strawberry. One of the popular versions is the pink-scented custard sakura flavour with some cherry bits for the ultimate sweet taste.

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Hanami Dango Rice Cakes

Often eaten during hanami (cherry blossom viewing), Hanami dango rice cakes are known for their three-colours with different meanings that serve a sweet rice flavour. Pink represents the cherry blossoms, white is for the flowers blooming, and green is for the leaves after the flowering season.

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Ikanogo is a Japanese sand eel that is prominent in the Hyogo Prefecture. It is usually eaten on top of rice, caramelized with soy sauce, sugar, Japanese sweet rice wine, and ginger, and makes a delightful snack.

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Here’s the finale of your culinary adventure. Take a bite of this juicy Japanese strawberry or Ichigo grown under strict conditions to ensure a delectable sweet taste and a deep red color. Many of these strawberries are growing in the Tochigi prefecture, also known as the Strawberry Kingdom.

Sembikiya Queen Strawberries Valuable Fruit2

Strawberries are best paired with daifuku or small round rice cakes with red bean paste. You’ll find ichigo daifuku in sweet shops, convenience stores, supermarkets, and festivals this spring.

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