Spring has sprung! By the time the Japan Meteorological Agency proclaimed March 21 as the official start of cherry blossom season, sakura-themed products had already appeared throughout the country.
Shopping malls, hotel lobbies, and other public spaces put up lanterns, flower arrangements, and other grand displays of tribute to the beloved – if fleeting – flowers. Beverage and food packaging were adorned with the pink and white beauties in anticipation of seeing them in person.
New Yorkers don’t become as crazed about cherry blossoms as the Japanese, although we do have our fair share of sakura matsuri in the area. We also have local Japanese confectioners who use the seasonality of springtime to incorporate the sakura into their creations.
Minamoto Kitchoan is the obvious choice to go for wagashi, or traditional Japanese sweets. Instagram user @pranky86 posted this lovely sakura-themed dessert from the confectioner, which is located at 509 Madison Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets.
Bite-sized dessert makers mochi Rin uses organic bean paste and locally sourced fruits and flowers to create their “kofuku,” which is smaller than the traditional daifuku. Their April menu features a lovely sakura mochi, as you can see from a recent Instagram post. While mochi Rin doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar store, you can order their delectable confections from their website.
Miyuki Hyodo is a Japanese confectionery artist who has been based in New York since 2012. She pays particular attention to the seasons when creating her beautiful and delicious wagashi. Like mochi Rin, Hyodo doesn’t have a store, but you can find her at various Japanese-related events throughout the city. Keep up with her Instagram account @miuxnyc to find out where she’ll be!