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Congratulations, you’ve made it through another winter in (hopefully) one piece! Spring is here and much of the northern hemisphere is enjoying the first signs of new greenery and Japan’s favorite flower, sakura (cherry blossom), are starting to decorate the landscape.

The only thing better than relaxing under the sakura trees is relaxing under the sakura trees while consuming one of many delicious sakura flavored goodies. But you have to get them quickly, because they are as fleeting as the flowers themselves.

▼ Cherry blossoms only last a couple of weeks before they flutter to the ground.

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Sakura season gets foodies as excited about spring as nature enthusiasts with almost every restaurant and shop in Japan going out of their way to create some sakura flavored treat or item, like sakura macarons or ice cream. This year we’ve already seen an array of pink-hued goodies and they look delicious!

Nagori Yukimi Daifuku Sakura (Made by Lotte, available at most convenience stores)

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Yukimi Daifuku is very popular ice cream treat that comes in a variety of flavors. The outside is a soft, fluffy layer of mochi (rice cake), the inside is flavored ice cream and sometimes, the very center is filled with a delectable goo. The Yukimi Daifuku sakura flavor has pink mochi on the outside, sakura flavored ice cream and a center of sakura leaf and anko (red bean paste). It may sound like an odd pairing, but the traditional flavor set is pretty great. We’re not the only ones to think so either:

“The Yukimi Daifuku Sakura is so delicious!!!! It’s like eating sakura mochi and ice cream at the same time!”

“Sakura Yukimi Daifuku… excellent!”

“Like a traditional Japanese sweet in ice cream form.”

▼ You can eat it with this handy stick (included).

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Sakura Anmitsu Parfait (Find it at 7-Eleven)

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Even if you didn’t believe us that anko and sakura go well together, you hopefully will now. The 7-Eleven Sakura Anmitsu Parfait is all the craze right these days. Anmitsu is a traditional dessert of jelly or mousse and anko with fruit, shirotama (rice dumplings) and a black sugar syrup. To make it more festive for spring, 7-Eleven is serving it with sakura mousse.

“The 7-Eleven Sakura Anmitsu Parfait is so delicious it just disappears. I have to buy another one… You all should eat it too.”

“I want to eat the Sakura Anmitsu Parfait _(:3 」∠)_” [We’re not entirely sure what that emoji depicts…]

“I went to 7-Eleven for the Sakura Anmitsu Parfait, but they didn’t have it (´;ω;`)”
[OH NO!]

▼ It’s unclear why this video exists, but it may boost your appetite…?

Sakura Donut (by Krispy Kreme Donuts)

At Krispy Kreme Donuts, every holiday seems to have its own special donut and sakura season is no different. The sakura donut features pink frosting with white chocolate curls and pistachios, which are said to represent the fluttering cherry blossoms and new leaf growth, respectively. Colorful and delicious!

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Sakura mochi on a stick (from FamilyMart)

While sakura mochi is a traditional Japanese sweet, Family Mart, took measures to makes it more convenient to eat. The treat is an anko center wrapped up in pink, sweet mochi with a pickled sakura leaf stuck to the outside. Although the mochi is pleasantly sticky, eating it can make your hands unpleasantly sticky. So, in the name of convenience, Family Mart took it upon themselves to save their customers from the stickiness by serving three mini sakura mochi skewered onto a stick, for hands free enjoyment.

“Family Mart’s sakura mochi sticks are epic!”

▼ “I found the sakura mochi stick that I love. It’s easy to eat without getting your hands messy. It’s super sweet but in a good way.”

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Sakura Anman (from FamilyMart)

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Convenience store chain FamilyMart is hitting homers this year, as they released another great sakura treat, Sakura anman last week. The “an” comes from “anko” and the “man” is for manju (steamed bun). You’re probably doubting us again when we say that this is delicious, but just wait.

The warm pink bun is filled with smooth anko and sakura leaf. The leaves come from the well-known sakura trees of the island of Oshima off of Shizuoka. The filling is extra good in the steamed bun, making for a delightfully warm spring treat to stave off the still chilly mornings and evenings.

“The FamilyMart sakura anman is really delicious, you should eat one! A rare hit.”

▼ “Everyone should go and buy the FamilyMart sakura anman!”

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Sakura 2015 (Garrett Popcorn)

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Although only in its second year on sale in Japan, Chicago popcorn powerhouse Garrett Popcorn has been quick to get on the seasonal treat bandwagon. While they aren’t offering sakura flavored popcorn (yet), you can get your normal choices in a specially designed sakura tin can. We can’t think of a better treat to take to a hanami (cherry blossom viewing party)!

Black Tea Hanaden “Enchanting Sakura” Royal Milk Tea (by Coca-Cola)

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If you want to spruce up your normal milk tea, now’s the time to do it. By adding a bit of sakura into your normal refreshing drink, you can trick yourself into thinking that it’s not still cold outside, just for a split second.

▼ This masked person seems to think only witchcraft could bring about such a delicious beverage.

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Remember when we said that sakura goodies are as ephemeral as their namesakes? Well, even though much of Japan hasn’t even seen the beautiful cherry blossoms yet this year, Starbucks has already moved on from their Caramelly Sakura Chocolate Lattes/ Frappuccinos and Sakura Chiffon Cakes to newer things (the Almond Milk latte).

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The treats got rave reviews while they were available from mid-February to mid-March, but we don’t want to torture you with descriptions of the delicious caramel drizzled over lightly sakura flavored lattes and thick sakura and white chocolate frapps, not to mention the fluffy, whipped cream topped cake. You’ll just have to wait for next years creations.

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As we saw with Starbucks, these seasonal treats may not last long, so if you’re in Japan and want to try them, you’d better move fast. While of course they would be best enjoyed under the inspirational cherry blossoms, they may not be around when the trees are in full bloom (which is terrible product management, but that’s a story for another day). Regardless of where you eat, we hope you enjoy!

Sources: Twitter via Naver Matome
Images: Wikimedia Commons (Laslovarga), Lotte, Facebook (Garrett Popcorn Shops- Japan)