Just as the stunning pink cherry blossoms [sakura] begin to appear all over Japan at the start of Spring every year, so does a new range of delicious sakura flavoured/themed snacks for us to enjoy! Iconic Japanese brands never seem to miss the opportunity to switch up flavours or packaging to match one of the most festive seasons in the Japanese calendar. The cute pink packaging and delicious sweet flavours are a favourite with Japanese and visitors alike, and they certainly make for the perfect picnic treats when enjoying time with friends under the blossoms.
Check out the 2020 Sakura iterations of popular Japanese snacks, drinks and sweets and pick them up at convenience stores, grocery stores or megastores like Don Quijote.
|Item||Limited Time Flavours||Where to Purchase|
|Kit Kat||Sakura Sake, Sakura/Red Bean Mochi, Easter Banana||Grocery Stores, Don Quijote [DQ]|
|Coca Cola||Regular taste with 2020 Sakura Design Bottle||Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores, DQ|
|Ready-to-Drink Coffee||Starbucks Sakura White Chocolate Cheesecake with Milk Pudding and Mt Rainier LaLa Sakura Latte||Convenience Stores|
|Sake||Sakura Sake with preserved cherry blossom||Don Quijote|
|Chips||Mike's Milk and Ume Popcorn, Calbee Ume Prawn Crackers, Supa Mucho Ume Chips||Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores, DQ|
|Mints||Mintia Cherry Blossom Essence||Convenience Stores|
|Curry||Sakura Vegetable Curry||Rakuten|
|Pocky||Matcha chocolate with Sakura pretzel and Sakura chocolate with a sweet and salty brown sugar pretzel||Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores, DQ|
|Beer||Asahi and Kirin: Regular taste with 2020 Sakura Design Can/Bottle||Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores, DQ|
|Milk Tea||Lipton Sakura Tea Latte, Uchi Cafe Sakura Green Tea Latte||Convenience Stores, Lawson|
|Sweets/Ice Cream||Imuraya Yawamochi Ice Sakura Mochi Flavor, Uchi Cafe Sakura Macarons, Uchi Cafe Sakura Daifuku Mochi, Uchi Cafe Dacquoise Sandwich Ice Cream, MUJI Sakura Baumkuchen||Convenience Stores, Lawson, MUJI|
This sakura season, one of Japan's most famous snack creators Kit Kat released their annual springtime flavours, with 2020 introducing Sakura Sake and Sakura/Red Bean Mochi flavours.
BONUS! Easter Kit Kat
We also get an extra kind of Kit Kat this April, with the fun Easter Banana flavour, with cute kid-friendly packaging that can be coloured in.
Coca Cola is just as popular in Japan as it is in other Western countries, and they're the first to experiment with fun flavours like Apple Coke, Peach Coke and Strawberry Coke. But during sakura season, the iconic brand likes to stick with it's crowd favourite original flavour and simply release a limited edition bottle with a unique sakura design. Coca Cola always creates beautiful Spring designs that will make you want to keep the bottle after enjoying the soda!
Convenience stores in Japan have a staggering amount of read-to-drink coffee choices (both hot and cold), so when Spring comes around, it's always fun to spot the bright pink packaged flavours among the brown lattes, espressos and cafe au laits. Two that seem to be in every convenience store are Starbucks' Sakura White Chocolate Cheesecake with Milk Pudding drink and Mt Rainier's LaLa Sakura Latte. While the first drink is not technically coffee, it sounds like an amazing combo, and the LaLa Latte is described as having "Sakura leaf extract added to a latte blended with authentic espresso and rich milk. You can enjoy the taste of spring in Japan, with a bittersweet café latte and sweet cherry blossoms."
Explorers of the sakura-verse over at Klook found gorgeous sake at Don Quijote, which has a preserved cherry blossom suspended in bright pink sake - a traditional Japanese alcohol. It's perfect for sipping while under the chery blossom trees during hanami.
Japanese grocery stores stock so many interesting flavours of chips/crisps, and a popular one that pops up around Spring is ume-salt flavour. Ume is a dried plum that has a botanical taste, and is synonymous with Spring in Japan. When combined with salt, it creates a taste similar to Salt and Vinegar, but with a more robust flavour. You can find many varieties of crackers, chips and even popcorn with this flavour during March and April, just look out for the pink packaging!
Popular mint brand Mintia has released a seasonal flavour of breathmint with adorable packaging that can fit right in your pocket. This year, the flavour is Cherry Blossom Essence.
Perhaps one of the wackiest implementations of the sakura craze in food is the Sakura Vegetable Curry, an instant curry that can be heated for a quick meal - that is also bright pink. While Japanese curry is usually a rich brown colour, this curry is starkly pink, yet apparently doesn't taste too different from a regular curry. If you can get your hands on it, give it a try this Spring!
This sakura season, the beloved Japanese snack brand Pocky has released two fun Spring flavours, Matcha chocolate with Sakura pretzel and Sakura chocolate with a sweet and salty brown sugar pretzel.
Mainstays in the Japanese beer scene Asahi and Kirin have released their signature brews with cute sakura packaging once again in 2020. Perfect as a gift for a beer-loving friend or for enjoying with friends at an outdoor picnic, these beers are surely the most dazzling on the shelf.
In 2020, Lipton has again released its Sakura Tea Latte with a perfect touch of fruity sakura flavour added to the popular sweet drink. Uchi Cafe (Lawson's cafe brand) has also launched a Creamy Sakura Green Tea Latte, which looks very rich but certainly delicious.
In the cold and bakery sections of a convenience store you can always find a myriad of fresh sakura sweets in Spring like mochi, parfaits, cream buns and cakes. Just a few that we've seen around are the Yawamochi Ice Sakura Mochi sundaes in 7-11, the sakura macarons, sakura daifuku mochi and sakura meringue 'Dacquoise' ice cream sandwiches from Lawson, and the sakura baumkuchen from MUJI.
Have your treats but need to know where the best cherry blossom-viewing spots are? Click the button below to learn about our favourite places in Hokkaido to see the sakura!